A photo is all Manpreet and her husband Gargandeep have left of their life in India.
The couple faced violence, discrimination and even death threats all because their families objected to their inter-caste marriage.
“They say, ‘I kill you and I kill both of them,’” Manpreet said of the threats.
Because of the threats they’ve faced, we are only identifying them by their first names.
The couple moved to the United States eight years ago, filing an application seeking asylum.
Since then, they’ve had two daughters and built a life here.
But their application was denied in 2019 under Trump-era immigration reforms, which made it harder for people facing threats of domestic or gang violence to win asylum in the United States.
“There is no going to home,” said Gargandeep.
But this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed immigration judges to stop following the policies put in place during former President Trump’s tenure.
According to data from the Department of Justice, more than half of asylum cases decided last year were denied. Four years earlier, about one in five cases were denied.
“Immigration law has been very difficult for the last few years under our ex-president, but this is amazingly good news,” said Edward J. Cuccia, the immigration attorney representing the couple. “This is a ray of sunshine for some people deserving — people who really, really suffered persecution back in their home countries previously, who were unable to get relief.”
After Manpreet and Gargandeep’s application was rejected, they immediately filed an appeal. Their case has been pending since.
Now they’re hopeful under the Biden Administration that they’ll win their case and can stay here permanently.
“Because this country is safe,” said Gargandeep.
And for this family, it feels like home.