Florida Philosophy Grad Student Seeks Legal Aid for Asylum Case

Shadi “Soph” Heidarifar is a doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Florida. She’s also suing the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for neglecting her asylum case.

Heidarifar, a queer woman, came to the United States from Iran and filed for asylum. She writes:

My country is among the fewest countries on earth that systematically executes people (even minors) for their sexual orientation and brutally assaults/kills women for their clothing choices. My asylum case is also based on the systemic treatment that I personally got there both as a woman and as a Queer person.

She filed for asylum four years ago but, she reports, “USCIS hasn’t scheduled an interview for my case yet.”

Her lawyer advised her to sue USCIS in a Federal Court to schedule an interview. She writes:

The problem, however, is that this entire process costs $3000. As an international graduate student, I’m in no position to pay this amount on my own. So, I’m asking for your help to please consider supporting this cause.

I can’t emphasize enough how much your support means to me; it is literally life-saving! When I first moved to this country, I was able to find who I am because of the amazing support I’ve got, especially in academia, and with the same kind of support, I’m sure we will achieve this goal as well. 

You can donate to Heidarifar’s legal fund here.


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