Guinea government forces arrested Amadou Diallo, then age 17, threw him in jail for ten days and warned him that they would continue to use him as bait to catch his father, a political activist who opposed this West African nation’s strong-arm tactics and corruption.
Yet after Mr. Diallo fled to the United States, an immigration judge along with the Board of Immigration Appeals denied his appeal for safe asylum.
Thanks to a federal appeal overseen by Mario Russell, Senior Attorney for the Catholic Charities Immigration Office and St. John’s University Law School professor, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed these earlier decisions on September 27, 2012. It remanded the case for reconsideration, reaffirming the principle that children and family members who are attacked or persecuted because of the activities of other family members are to be protected under the Refugee Act.
This victory represents the latest in a string of legal successes achieved thanks to efforts by Mr. Russell and the St. John’s Law School students he supervises at the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Litigation Clinic. The clinic offers students the opportunity to work on real life-and-death cases in a clinical setting under the supervision of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.
“It’s a five-way win,” Mr. Russell said as he celebrated the victory. “For Catholic Charities, for the students, for the judges and for St. Johns,” he said. “And, in particular, for Mr. Diallo, our client.”
What do you think about the Appeals Court decision?