Finding a Way 11 The Long Road to Asylum Nowa’s life in her homeland of Guinea had been a prolonged assault on her body and spirit. As a six-year-old, she was held down and subjected to female genital mutilation by the women of her village. At 16, Nowa faced an arranged marriage to a 60-year-old man. When she objected, her uncle beat her and threatened to kill her. When Nowa ran away, he tracked her down.Years later, after escaping with her two daughters to the safety of the United States, she sought a chance at a better life. With the help of Mintz Levin’s Marisa Howe, Nowa waged a long but successful battle for political asylum. “Over the last seven years, Nowa and I have worked together through almost every possible step an asylum case could go through: asylum interview; immigration court hearing; appeal to Board of Immigration Appeals; and, finally, after a four-year wait, remand to immigration court again,” Marisa says. Attorneys Brian Dunphy, Samantha Kingsbury, and Chip Phinney joined Marisa in recent years. In January, the team’s persistence paid off, and Nowa obtained political asylum in Boston Immigration Court. “Nowa will now be able to remain in the U.S. and protect her daughters from the certain harm they face in Guinea due to the inevitable female genital mutilation, protect herself from her uncle’s violence, and safely raise her family,”Marisa says. Clearing a Path A few months later, in New Jersey, an immigration judge congratulated attorneys Pooja Agarwal, Andowah Newton, and Narges Kakalia for assembling a well-documented case that helped obtain asylum for two sisters of Tutsi ethnicity. After family members were killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the sisters pushed for an investigation and in return were brutally attacked and raped by anti-Tutsi officials. Had asylum been denied, they would have faced repatriation and likely death. Since the early 1990s, Mintz Levin has partnered with immigration and justice projects across the United States.With help from our offices in Boston, NewYork, San Diego, andWashington, D.C., individuals who have risked everything to escape the horrors of war, ethnic persecution, and a variety of human rights abuses are rebuilding their lives. Journey to a New Life The original named partners would have relished the successes produced by our great and committed professional activists on asylum cases. Herman Mintz, my father, was an immigrant himself, and Ben Levin and Haskell Cohn were the first generation of their families born in the U.S.—and all of those émigrés experienced persecution and left Europe to come to this land of freedom. ~ Richard Mintz