HIAS behind Sudanese reunion in New York


A lawyer working pro bono and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society were behind the emotional reunion in New York on Monday of a Sudanese couple and their daughter. The New York Times has the story:

Growing up among strangers in a refugee camp in the Darfur region of Sudan, 4-year-old Wesal Adam knew her parents mostly as faces in photographs and voices on the phone.

She knew that her father, Motasim Adam, and her mother, Wejdan Adam, lived in Brooklyn and that Mr. Adam drove a cab. But she did not know what they felt like or smelled like or how much they loved her — if at all.

Wesal did not know why she had been separated by deserts and oceans from her parents, but once she learned to talk she knew that her lack of certain papers was keeping her from them.

But on Monday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wesal and her father walked off a plane, reuniting the family and bringing a joyful end to a struggle that lasted more than two years.

Unlike many families splintered by the long-running violence in Darfur, the Adam family’s separation was not caused directly by the conflict, but by United States immigration law…

The Adams’ cause was taken up by a lawyer, Alan Lungen, on a pro bono basis, and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a nonprofit group in New York. Mr. Adam spoke about Darfur at an event about a year ago that was sponsored by the group and was eventually introduced to Mr. Lungen, a lawyer with Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman.Mr. Lungen and workers at the aid society were successful in winning Wesal a humanitarian parole in May.

Full story here.

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