Pro Bono Attorney of the Week Lyndsey K. Yoshino Obtains First Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC) Asylum Grant for Safe Passage!

Safe Passage, March 17, 2014


Safe Passage Project Attorney of the Week Lyndsey K. Yoshino, Esq.
Safe Passage Project Attorney of the Week Lyndsey K. Yoshino, Esq.

Lyndsey K. Yoshino is an Immigration Law Associate at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP. When she is not practicing law, Ms. Yoshino enjoys running marathons or watching football games, particularly those involving the Green Bay Packers, or the Wisconsin Dodgville Dodgers.

Ms. Yoshino has always had a passion for migration studies and American immigration law. After graduating from the University of California, Berkley with a Bachelor Degree in French and History in 2002, she went on to pursue a Master Degree in Modern Migration Patterns into France at New York University 2005. Thereafter, she decided to combine her interest in immigration and law by pursuing a legal education at Georgetown Law and graduating in 2009.

While she was in law school she participated in the school’s asylum clinic, and she also worked as an intern assisting with gender-based violence claims in the Refugee Rights department at the World Organization for Human Rights–USA.  Ms. Yoshino’s work in the field of immigration law persisted after she graduated from law school, when she served as a Judicial Law Clerk at the New York Immigration Court as part of the Department of Justice’s Honors Program from 2009 to 2011.

Since she began working at Fragomen, Ms. Yoshino has been actively involved in volunteer and pro bono work, some of which include volunteering at various city-wide DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) clinics, and serving as a pro bono attorney with the City Bar and the Safe Passage Project.

Ms. Yoshino decided to take on her first Safe Passage case as a pro bono attorney, because during her judicial clerkship the immigration judges emphasized the importance of making pro bono work a priority. During her clerkship, Ms. Yoshino witnessed hundreds of individuals who had gone through immigration proceedings without representation, and she wanted to be proactive in changing this trend. In addition, Ms. Yoshino was fully aware of the positive reputation that the Safe Passage Project had already established in the immigration law community and was eager to become a part of it.    

Ms. Yoshino’s experience working on a Safe Passage case and with the Safe Passage team was an incredibly positive one. She worked on an asylum case for an 18-year-old young woman who had crossed the U.S.-Mexican border while pregnant and was afraid to return to her home country in Central America because of prior gang-affiliated threats to her life. Ms. Yoshino worked wholeheartedly on this young woman’s asylum case, and ultimately was successful in helping this admirable young woman obtain asylum.  This case was the first Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC) asylum approval for the Safe Passage Project.  

Working on this case and actually changing her client’s life for the better has motivated Ms. Yoshino to take on another Safe Passage case in the future. She encourages fellow immigration attorneys who are not yet involved with the Safe Passage Project to take the plunge. She stresses that balancing both paid cases and a Safe Passage pro bono case is manageable, especially since the Safe Passage team makes the entire process so much smoother.

The Safe Passage Project is incredibly grateful for all of the work Ms. Yoshino put into this case.  Because of Ms. Yoshino’s amazing volunteer efforts, a young girl’s life was positively changed, and that girl now has security and options for the future that were previously unimaginable.

***Safe Passage Advocate of the Week Feature written by NYLS Student and Safe Passage volunteer, Natalie Bello.