After the Taliban captured Kabul in 2021, 850 Afghan refugees were resettled in Middle Tennessee. In partnership with Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors and the Vanderbilt Law School Immigration Practice Clinic, Bass, Berry & Sims hosted two continuing legal education programs on asylum work for attorneys across Tennessee, creating resources for dozens of Afghan allies to seek asylum and safety in the United States. Over the course of several months, pro bono attorneys at the firm filed asylum petitions for six clients whose work in Afghanistan made them targets of the Taliban. Each client represented by our pro bono teams has been granted asylum, and our attorneys continue to work with them to apply for permanent resident status on the path to citizenship.
In addition to providing legal help to secure asylum, the firm partnered with Tennessee Resettlement Aid (TRA) to develop and host a five-week Men’s Professional Development Program to help Afghan families resettled in Tennessee build a better future. Katie Finn, Executive Director of TRA, summarized the success of this program, “We have guys that went from their emergency warehouse job to working at Google Inc. in IT, and they credit their successes and their confidence to apply for these jobs to the Men’s Professional Development Program at Bass, Berry. It showed them that there was hope for them, there is a way that they can reach their dreams and be their best selves here in America.”
To hear directly from one of our clients about the life-saving impact of this asylum work and learn more about our work with TRA, watch the video below.