Burns Bowen Bair has recently taken on a new pro bono project, representing three Afghan asylees who came to the United States via the Kabul airlift or shortly thereafter. Jeff Bowen, Leakhena Au, and Nathan Kuenzi are filing affirmative asylum applications on their behalf. This includes filing the core I-589 form and preparing supplemental documents–the applicant’s declaration, legal memorandum, witness statements, identification materials, country condition reports, and anything else that may aid the asylum officer in making a favorable determination.
These “affirmative” asylum applications are a proactive measure, distinct from a “defensive” asylum application where the applicant is already in removal proceedings. The determination on whether asylum is granted will ultimately fall to an asylum officer at an expedited hearing within the next few months.