The United States recognizes the right of asylum. A person who is facing a credible threat of persecution in their home country may be eligible to obtain asylum in the United States. As explained by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a migrant can apply for asylum no matter their country of origin and no matter their current immigration status.
Unfortunately, many people have false beliefs about asylum applicants and the asylum process. In some cases, politicians and media figures unfairly demonize asylum-seekers and spread falsehoods about the applications process. Here, our Denver immigration lawyers debunk three of the most pervasive myths about asylum.
Asylum is a form of legal immigration. Every migrant has the legal right to apply for asylum in the United States. In fact, immigrants have a legal right to arrive at the U.S. border and to request asylum. When migrants arrive at the border, they are doing exactly what they are instructed to do under U.S. immigration law.
Sadly, this issue is sometimes demagogued. A notable example is when the so-called ‘Migrant Caravan’ arrived at the border in Tijuana, Mexico in November of 2018. Despite some claims to the contrary, those migrants had every right to apply for asylum in the United States and they were doing what they were supposed to do under our laws.
Some people falsely believe that the asylum system is full of loopholes. Specifically, there is a false belief that the ‘credible fear’ requirement is easy to exploit. This is wrong. The credible fear screening system set up by U.S. immigration enforcement officers is extremely strict. Indeed, the system even allows low-level immigration officers to initiate removal proceedings on an expedited basis. Not every asylum case goes before an immigration judge.
Getting asylum in the United States can be deeply challenging. There is a multi-step screening and investigation process that involves several different agencies. Applicants are required to verify their identity, submit medical records, and sometimes are even asked to produce third-party witness statements in support of their claim. When possible, asylum applicants should be represented by a qualified immigration attorney.
At Joseph & Hall P.C., our Colorado immigration attorneys have extensive experience handling the full range of asylum cases. If you or your loved one is considering applying for asylum in the United States, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team for a fully confidential consultation. From our offices in Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Frisco, we represent asylum seekers throughout Colorado.
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