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Difficulties and Risks in Asylum Claims

There are many people throughout the world who live in desperate conditions and wish to come to the United States in order to achieve freedom from persecution and violence. The U.S. government offers some of these foreign nationals asylum which provides a permanent solution for those foreign nationals who qualify. While many of those who apply for asylum do so out of a genuine concern for their safety and wellbeing or the safety and wellbeing of their families, there are always those who seek to abuse the system. Since it can be difficult for the government to assess all of the claims they receive, it is important that a foreign national be truthful and provide as much evidence as possible to support an asylum application. With such an important task, it is always advisable to start any application for asylum with a consultation with a knowledgeable immigration attorney.

If you believe you have a genuine claim for asylum, contact one of our competent immigration lawyers for a consultation.

Difficulty of Proof

Possibly the biggest difficulty encountered by foreign nationals seeking asylum is the difficulty of proving the elements of their application. A foreign national seeking asylum is required to show that he/she has suffered persecution or will suffer persecution in his/her country of nationality based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The foreign national must prove that one of these factors is a central reason for his or her fear. The persecution must be by an official of the government, someone working for the government or someone acting in such a capacity, even if the government they work for is not the recognized government in the land. This might include “rebel groups” or “guerillas” depending on the location.

Someone who is forced to flee quickly may not have time to obtain photographs or other evidence that would help prove a claim for asylum. Frequently, however, there are news reports by recognized new organizations and independent reports of conditions in many areas. It must be remembered, however, that it is not sufficient to prove that an area is dangerous. The foreign national must prove that he or she fears actual persecution because of one of the above reasons. A number of different types of evidence can be used including news reports and affidavits and a competent immigration attorney can help put together exhibits of evidence to submit with an application. Testimony is sometimes the only proof that a foreign national has. This may be sufficient, and even if an application is denied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), a foreign national will have the chance to appeal the case to an immigration judge and present the testimony to a new person separate from the previous decision.

Risk of Removal

If the USCIS denies an application for asylum and the Immigration Judge also rules against the foreign national, the foreign national will likely be placed in removal proceedings (formerly called deportation proceedings) unless the foreign national has some other status that allows him or her to stay in the U.S. This is one of the risks inherent in any application to the USCIS by a foreign national who does not have legal status. The very act of submitting an application alerts the USCIS of your presence. This is another important reason to have an attorney on your side during this process.

Risk of Ineligibility of Other Benefits

It is very important to be truthful during all aspects of the asylum process, from filling out the applications to having an interview with an immigration officer. If the USCIS determines that a foreign national lied in order to make an asylum claim or to gain asylum status, the foreign national will be permanently ineligible for benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act. This would affect any other chance the foreign national might have had to obtain status in the U.S.

Contact us

In order to avoid these risks and alleviate some of the difficulties that are inherent in this process, always consult with an immigration attorney who will work with you to explain all the steps involved and the risks and difficulties present in each of these steps. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have years of experience dealing with all aspects of immigration law. Contact one today for a consultation and an honest look at your case.

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