It is still illegal to be gay in 70 countries. As a result, every year, thousands of LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers come to the U.S. fleeing persecution in their home countries based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. After fleeing violence, imprisonment and death threats, LGBTQ asylum seekers arrive in the U.S. in pursuit of a better life. However, upon arrival, many do not know where it is safe to go for help during the asylum process. The service model for LGBTQ resettlement has traditionally prioritized in-person direct support, especially legal aid, over technological innovation. However, some law firms and non-profit organizations are starting to leverage legal technology to improve advocacy and access to justice for LGBTQ asylum seekers. This panel will address the overarching question: “What role can technology play in helping the legal community advance persecuted LGBTQ peoples’ right to safety?” Under the current administration, this question is more important than ever. By joining forces, lawyers and technologists can achieve a safer, more transparent, and more sustainable resettlement process for LGBTQ people hoping to finally live freely.
Location: Franklin 9
Speakers: Nishan Bhaumik (Immigration Equality); Hans How (AsylumConnect); Ari Jones (Oasis Legal Services); Zorik Pesochinsky (Thomson Reuters); Katie Sgarro (AsylumConnect)
CLE Materials I, II