July 22, 2022 – Hughes Hubbard recently obtained asylum for a pro bono client and her children, who fled Pakistan to escape death threats from members of the Taliban.

The client’s husband worked for a Pakistani NGO dedicated to improving access to education and healthcare in one of the country's poorest communities, dominated by an offshoot of the Taliban. In 2009, the client’s husband began receiving phone calls from individuals who identified themselves as members of the Taliban, accused the client’s husband of covertly working for the U.S. and Pakistani government under the guise of his NGO work, and threatened the family’s lives in retaliation. The calls continued for several months and only ceased when the client’s husband left the country to protect his family. During that time, the client raised her children alone.

Once the client’s husband returned to Pakistan in 2013, the calls eventually picked up again. The callers again threatened his life and that of his family. In October 2017, fearing for their lives, the client and her family fled Pakistan. After arriving in the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement commenced removal proceedings against the client and two of her children.

HHR successfully represented the client before the Immigration Court. The firm argued that the client deserved asylum based on past persecution, and on the well-founded fear of future persecution, on account of her membership in the particular social groups of immediate family members of Pakistani men who opposed or are perceived to oppose the Taliban, immediate family members of Pakistani men who are or are perceived to be informants against the Taliban, and immediate family members of her husband.

Following briefing and a remotely-held hearing on July 12, the court granted asylum for the client and her two youngest children, finding that they had a well-founded fear of future persecution. HHR continues to represent the family and is currently filing derivate applications for the client’s husband and their two other children, who were not in removal proceedings.

Elizabeth Zhou, Hilary McDonnell, Clara Cassan and paralegal Natasha Faisal worked on the case with supervision from Amina Hassan.