Justice Adjusted: An asylee becomes an LPR

Our client is originally from Nicaragua and speaks only Spanish. He is 64-years-old and is living with HIV. In 2000, he was granted asylum because of his fear of persecution in Nicaragua. Although he has been living in Camden for many years, he never tried to become a permanent resident because of the federal law that banned people with HIV from immigrating to the United States.

Nine years ago, the ban was lifted and HIV status cannot be the reason for excluding a person from the U.S.

As an asylee and not a lawful permanent resident, the client was ever-fearful that he would lose his right to remain in the U.S. After learning from his health care provider at Cooper Hospital about the legal services we offer in South Jersey, he met with us to discuss his eligibility to become a legal permanent resident.

Our bi-lingual deputy managing attorney spoke to him in Spanish and advised that HIV was no longer a barrier to adjusting his immigration status from asylee to lawful permanent resident and that he can get a green card. He was also advised that with a green card, he would be on the path to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.

We successfully represented him in his application for permanent residency. With his green card in his pocket, our client finally felt the security he was seeking when he fled his home nearly 20 years ago.