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About Our Asylum Clinic

Tens of thousands of individuals flee human rights violations in their home countries and seek asylum in the United States every year. Currently, less than 40% are ultimately granted protective status. While the immigration legal system places a heavy burden on asylum applicants, access to evidence is challenging, and many rely solely on their own testimony. Forensic evaluations introduce reliable evidence of trauma or torture into the proceedings, providing access to evidence for asylum seekers and trustworthy information for fact-finders. There is enormous demand for this evidence by immigration attorneys but the costs of expert testimony are often out of reach for asylum seekers.  Physicians for Human Rights’ Asylum Program facilitates pro bono forensic evaluations, and often partners with medical school asylum clinics to do so.
By creating asylum clinics at their associated medical centers, medical students and licensed clinicians can address a gap in services for a vulnerable population and create a practice community for forensic work. Students play a substantial role in the asylum seeker’s case by drafting the affidavit. This degree of engagement helps create the next generation of evaluators.
Asylum clinics also serve as foundations for advocacy and for service provision in their communities. Through associations with academic institutions, each asylum clinic serves as a direct liaison between the asylum-seeker population and a community of passionate students and academic faculty. This allows students in medical schools and throughout universities to create educational events and to engage in advocacy activities. Through their involvement in an asylum clinic, faculty have the opportunity to reach a truly unique and underserved community.

 

Student Leadership

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Brandon Grill

President, Downstate PHR

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Lulu Wei

Vice President, Downstate PHR

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Anuradha Shetty

Asylum Clinic Director

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Lori Zomback

Secretary, Downstate PHR

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Ariana Gopal

Treasurer, Downstate PHR

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Mitchell Bayne

Asylum Clinic Operations

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Alejandra Moncayo

Volunteer Relations

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Raven Lin

Volunteer Relations

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Gardenia Taza

Clinic Case Manager

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Christy Joseph

Clinic Case Manager

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Jigar Govind

Clinic Case Manager

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Razan Eltilib

Clinic Case Manager

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Emily Bakaj

Clinic Case Manager

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Noorulain Paracha

Clinic Case Manager

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Natalie Sun

Clinic Case Manager

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Latia Skerving

Clinic Case Manager

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Felix Rozenberg

Clinic Case Manager

Meet Some of Our Clinicians

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Dr. Arthur Grant

Dr. Grant is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Epilepsy Division at DMC.  He joined PHR in 1990 as a medical student and has been active since then in the areas of prison medicine and the physician asylum network.  He has examined asylum applicants from over 20 countries and has testified several times in Immigration court.

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Dr. Noriyuki Murakami


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Dr. Deval Zaveri


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Dr. Arkaprava Deb

Arkaprava Deb is a psychiatrist in New York City.  His clinical specialties are young adults with severe mental illness and emergency psychiatry.  He teaches residents and medical students at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and NYU School of Medicine.  His other specialty is Preventive Medicine, for which he has completed analytical projects for a Think Tank, Health Departments, Insurance Companies, and the Occupational and Environmental Health Division of a large Multinational Corportation.  He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center and a Public Psychiatry Fellow at Columbia University with New York State Psychiatric Institute.  He also conducts workshops to educate the public on mental illness and mental health resources.   He has advocated at the local, state, and federal level for firearm safety measures.

 
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Our Alumni

Rohan Goyal (Founder, pictured left), COM 2022 

Dominique Noriega (pictured right), COM 2022

Aram Durgerian, COM 2022

Pelin Celiker, COM 2022

Yi Tong, COM 2022

Jake Littman, MPH 2020

Shannon Frank, COM 2023

Sonya Chemouni Bach, COM 2023

Sadia Alam, COM 2023

Maisha Ahmed, COM 2023

Rohan Maini, COM 2023

Michelle Ki, COM 2023