Harvard program gives legal advice on immigration

Friday, August 21, 2020 - 14:11 in Health & Medicine

Growing up in his native Lebanon, he worried about being outed as a gay man in a homophobic land. After finishing his undergraduate in biochemistry and a master’s in France, he came to the U.S. to pursue a doctoral degree at Harvard. But he still did not feel safe. Until February. The fourth-year Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was granted asylum based on his fear of persecution if he were to return home. In Lebanon, same-sex couples face violence, jail time, and severe discrimination. For the young man, who asked to keep his identity hidden out of fear of retaliation, the asylum grant meant he could live the life he had always dreamed of. “I cried for 10 minutes,” recalled the man, who married his partner on a warm August day in the Boston Seaport nearly a year ago. “I had never thought that one day I would be able to walk on the street next to my partner without being paranoid.” He is among dozens of members of the University community who have been helped by the Harvard...

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