CFU Applauds Georgetown Law Students’ Advocacy for Uyghur Asylum Seekers



May 9, 2024, 3:00 PM EST

+1 650-703-4523 


Washington, D.C. – Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) praises Georgetown University community members for their advocacy in expediting Uyghur asylum claims. Georgetown Law students, mentored by Human Rights Initiative Executive Director Elisa Massimino and Distinguished Fellow and CFU Advisory Board Member Scott Busby, recently drafted a compelling letter to Secretary Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security, detailing the severe circumstances faced by Uyghurs and other ethnic Turkic groups in the Uyghur region and the urgency of processing their asylum claims swiftly.

In addition to Ms. Massimino and Mr. Busby, the letter was signed by Thomas Kellogg, Executive Director of the Center for Asian Law at Georgetown University Law Center; James Millward, Professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; and Andrew Schoenholtz, Professor from Practice and Faculty Director at the Center for Applied Legal Studies and the Human Rights Institute, Georgetown University Law Center.

The letter presents a solid legal argument based on U.S. asylum law outlined in 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(b)(2)(iii)(A). This provision allows asylum for individuals who can demonstrate a consistent pattern of persecution against their group based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Given the U.S. State Department’s designation of the situation in the Uyghur region as genocide, the letter argues that Uyghur applicants need only prove their identity to establish eligibility for asylum. The Georgetown Law students who penned the letter also attended CFU’s launch event of the Congressional Uyghur Caucus on April 16th to observe and contribute to renewed efforts to address the humanitarian crisis affecting Uyghurs.

Rushan Abbas, Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, praised the effort, saying, “We commend the passion and commitment of these members of the Georgetown community, who have highlighted a critical issue at a pivotal moment. Our community is facing ongoing genocide, and only a handful of Uyghurs are currently undergoing the asylum process and have been able to obtain permanent protection. As members of the global community, we must ensure that their cries for help are heard and acted upon. We must all stand together to urge the Department of Homeland Security to take into consideration the severity of the Uyghur crisis, adopt a favorable interpretation of current law, and prioritize the asylum applications of Uyghurs and members of other Turkic groups.”

CFU also calls on like-minded individuals, organizations, and advocates worldwide to support this necessary change.



Campaign for Uyhgurs

We defend the human rights of uyghur people and the free world by exposing and confronting the chinese government's genocide, and empowering uyghur women and youth in the diaspora.

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