LGBTQ+ Asylum in the United States: Munisha & Shivjot’s Stories

Davies & Associates proudly represents LGBTQ+ clients in asylum cases and with deportation defense. While huge strides have been made in the United States, same sex relationships remain criminalized in dozens of countries worldwide. Even in countries where same sex relationships are not outlawed, LGBTQ+ individuals also face discrimination or persecution. In some countries members of the LGBTQ+ community face the Death Penalty.

Grounds for Asylum in United States

The United States has five categories as grounds for asylum claims:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

LGBTQ+ falls under “membership of a particular social group” when it comes to asylum – even if that is not the most appropriate way to categorize human sexuality. Thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals have found a safe haven in America through the asylum system over the past three decades.

Munisha story

We are currently working with 33-year-old Munisha, a gay woman from India who is seeking asylum in the United States. She has been disowned by her family and has received death threats from a girlfriend’s family. She flew to the US on a tourist visa and claimed asylum and is being assisted by our asylum team led by Deepak Ahluwalia. In fleeing, she had to leave behind a son from an arranged marriage and misses him terribly. Now 14 years old, she has not seen him in three years except over video calls. She longs to be granted asylum and to be reunited with him.

Shivjot’s Story

Shivjot had been bullied all throughout her life for being a homosexual. From elementary school to college she has been harassed, blackmailed, and even threatened by her classmates to expose her sexuality to her parents and others. Despite moving away to a bigger city in hopes of living in a more understanding and modern environment for her sexuality, Shivjot experienced the enormous amount of hate. Shivjot had tried to live life in the city without gathering any attention to her; she only attended a couple of pride events but never showed any sign of intimacy with her girlfriend in public. But the public was wary and the smallest actions such as her holding hands with other women, or hugging other women, and attending pride events led to her being physically and sexually assaulted numerous times at the hands of the police. This is why she had to escape to America in hopes of being able to live her life freely.

If you believe you have grounds for asylum based upon your sexuality – or any other basis – and you are in the United States, please get in contact.


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