With the help of a legal team including Olson Remcho associate Rachael Rutkowski, a lesbian woman, who fled from Russia with her partner because she feared for her life after being subjected to multiple instances of violent persecution because of her sexual orientation, was granted asylum in the United States in December 2021. The couple, who married in San Francisco after coming to the U.S., now have a young child and with the December ruling are assured of being able to remain in the U.S. and pursue a path to citizenship.
The legal team, including Rachael, OR partner Margaret Prinzing and Rachael’s former colleagues at Perkins Coie LLP, successfully had their client placed on a short list after five years of waiting for a credibility interview and, in November 2021, persuaded to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudicating officer that the woman should obtain asylum.
Rachael and her co-counsel were able to show that it was likely that the woman would be subject to further persecution if forced to return to Russia where her government employer had joined in persecuting her and the police were unwilling to protect her against the increasingly violent physical attacks to which she was being subjected. Russia continues to be a dangerous place for the LGBTQ+ community.