Immigration Equality recently recognized Latham with its 2022 Safe Haven award, which honors both our longtime commitment to the nonprofit organization as well as our work advocating for an individual Immigration Equality client.
As the one of the largest LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrant rights organizations in the United States, Immigration Equality utilizes direct legal services, policy advocacy, and impact litigation to assist immigrants and families facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.
Our client, Abraham (pseudonym), was a doctor in Uganda. Abraham lived most of his life hiding his sexual orientation from his family and friends. After Abraham and his boyfriend were outed, Abraham was kidnapped by Ugandan soldiers, interrogated, tortured, and threatened for being gay — and a supporter of the opposition government. When he was released, Abraham went into hiding before he was able to escape to the US in 2014.
Six years after applying for asylum, Abraham obtained an interview in October 2021 and received asylum in November 2021. A cross-office pro bono team helped turn Abraham's horrific experience into a compelling and credible case that led to his grant of asylum. In addition, the team helped Abraham get settled in the Boston area, including advocating on his behalf after this application appeared to get lost in the system.
Over the last decade, the firm has contributed approximately 12,700 hours to Immigration Equality clients, involving nearly 150 attorneys from 10 of our offices. Latham is proud to partner with several other organizations serving LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants, like Whitman-Walker in the Washington, D.C. area and Casa Cornelia in San Diego. This work reinforces the broader LGBTQ-rights practice that includes strategic litigation and life planning, name and gender marker change, and adoption legal services.