Asylum in the U.S.
What is asylum and who qualifies?
Asylum was created for those individuals already residing in the U.S. who need protection from persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality or political views.
The asylum program also applies to individuals that are seeking asylum at a port of entry to the United States who can prove that they have just cause. Asylum is applicable to any individual regardless of their home country or their immigration status. Even if an immigrant has entered the U.S. illegally, they are still eligible to apply for asylum and present their case. The asylum process can be complex and time consuming; therefore, it is essential to have an immigration attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable with asylum policies and procedures.
The asylum process is complicated and subject to strict requirements that are vigorously assessed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice including background and security checks. Most applications, reportedly up to 80%, are denied due to lack of evidence, lack of representation or other factors. Some of the necessary qualifications that an immigrant must present in their case are as follows:
- Individuals filing for asylum must reside outside of their home country.
- Live in fear of persecution such as imprisonment or torture.
- Live in fear of harm either from the home country’s government, police or political groups.
- Individuals fearing persecution in their home country due to race, religion or political affiliation.
- Asylum seeker cannot be a dangerous individual or one that has committed serious crimes.
With an average of 80% of applicants being declined asylum, it is essential that necessary evidence is gathered in order for an immigration attorney to present a solid case. Documentation such as medical reports, any published articles pertaining to the case, court or government documents which may be relevant and personal testimony all help to build an asylum case. Personal and eyewitness testimony is most often the only form of evidence an applicant has due to the nature of fleeing the home country.
Attorney Eliana Phelps is an experienced immigration lawyer in California. Her law firm provides immigration services to national and international clients and has an outstanding success rate defending immigrant crime and deportation cases.