Iraqi women escape violence with Asylum

Two Iraqi women, a mother and daughter, came to the U.S. seeking asylum. They had been refugees in Egypt before coming to America. The mother had worked for the Iraqi government during the Saddam Hussein regime. However, after her daughter was born, the woman quit her government job. Years later, a group of men beat them because they believed the mother was working for an organization in opposition of the government. They also targeted the two women because they were Sunni. The assaulters destroyed their house and smashed their car, forcing the women to flee. The mother and daughter, fearful of the threats in Iraq, traveled to Egypt seeking refuge. Unfortunately, the situation in Egypt, with the rioting and uprisings, was not safe for the two women either, so they came to the United States.

They sought help from Margaret W. Wong & Associates. We filed the I-589 forms to apply for asylum. While waiting for the asylum interviews, we also filed for the mother and daughter’s work permits (I-765 forms). They received their EAD cards (employment authorization documents), but their asylum interview took years to schedule due to the mother’s government work in Iraq. In addition, it was very difficult to obtain proper documentation from the family; however, the mother and daughter eventually got an interview just as their work permits were about to expire. We filed a work permit renewal for the daughter, and after the interview, their asylum applications were approved. The mother and daughter now safely live in the United States and soon will be eligible to apply for permanent residency. When they do, we will be ready to help them through the process.

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