33 Focused on What Matters William,oneofthe“LostBoys”whoescapedgenocidebyfleeingSudan,spentmorethanadecade in a refugee camp in Kenya before settling in Boston in 2001 and becoming an American citizen. In 2010, he filed for family reunification to bring his wife and child from Kenya to the United States; but when he checked the status of his application, William learned his DNA certification had been lost, and he had to take the DNA test again. By March 2012, it appeared William’s luck had improved. The US Embassy in Kenya issued a passport to his son and told his wife to return in a week for her visa. Later, however, the embassy confiscated the child’s passport and turned William’s wife away. William had already been married, they said, and had to submit proof that he’d divorced the other woman. It was a simple case of mistaken identity. Though William and the other man shared first and last names and were both Sudanese refugees who had resettled in the United States, it wasn’t difficult to see they were different individuals; but to officials at the embassy in Kenya, several thousand miles and multiple time zones away, the truth wasn’t as clear. From the United States, David Chanoff, who’d worked with both Williams as an advisor to the Sudanese Education Fund, did his best to convey the facts to the embassy’s staff. Later, two US congressmen wrote letters on William’s behalf, and William traveled to Kenya to communicate in person. When William’s application was nevertheless denied, David referred the case to Mintz Levin. Attorney Ella Shenhav, Legal Specialist Lucy Walsh, and Assistant Ellen Wilkins, with guidance from immigration attorney Susan Cohen, represented William in his appeal. Working with separate but interlinked government agencies was challenging. “We went back and forth with US Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States and the embassy in Kenya,” Ella explains. “We were on the phone with the US consulate there three or four times a week, and since they’re seven hours ahead and close at three o’clock, we had to call very early in the morning.” Wheneveritseemedtheteamwasmakingheadway,Williamwouldgetanotherletterdemanding a divorce certificate. Eventually, however, the facts won out. “We assembled reams of evidence to show that ourWilliam wasn’t the otherWilliam, and provided many affidavits establishing that the two just shared a name,”Ella says. In April 2013, William and his family were reunited in Boston, where they’re happy to be building a stable, new life. This case caused emotional and financial suffering for a young genocide survivor and his family. Normal channels of appeal proved ineffectual, including efforts by Senator Kerry and Congressmen Markey and McGovern. It took the commitment, perseverance, and skill of Mintz Levin’s pro bono attorneys to bring about a successful conclusion. William’s family was welcomed last week by the entire South Sudanese refugee community in an outpouring of happiness. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to videotape it so that your lawyers could see and feel the very human consequences of their work. David Chanoff Advisor Sudanese Education Fund Family Reunion A Former Lost Boy Brings His Family Home