Representing Asylum Seekers Through the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP)

David Sherman is one of six attorneys at Drummond Woodsum who has represented asylum seekers through the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project based in Portland, Maine. In December 2011, David first met his client, “A.M.,” who had recently arrived to Portland and who was seeking asylum as a result of persecution he had suffered in his native Congo and in Burundi, where he and his family had fled many years before. For the next several months, David and his client gathered information to support A.M.’s asylum application. A.M. prepared a detailed statement of his journey through Africa (where he was shot, tortured and threatened with imprisonment and death), ultimately leading him to the United States. Before he finally fled to Miami, A.M. was accused of working with an opposition political party in Burundi and was interrogated and tortured by the local police, landing him in a hospital for four days. A.M.’s application for asylum was initially denied, however, because he could not prove that he was a Congolese native. When he appeared before the Immigration Court in Boston in early February of this year – four years after filing his application for asylum – the presiding judge found his testimony credible, concluded that he had been persecuted and had a well-founded fear of future persecution, and granted him asylum.

As an attorney with over 25 years of litigation experience, David Sherman cites his day in Immigration Court as one of the proudest moments of his career. “Basically the judge’s decision saved my client’s life. Afterwards, when we were outside the courthouse, he started making plans for his future in the United States – a future which now looks very bright.”

Drummond Woodsum and its attorneys are proud to support the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project and represent people like A.M. in search of a safe and better life.

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