Immigration Attorney in San Jose, CA, Providing Legal Help for Asylum Seekers in the United States
The United States has a strong commitment to human rights at home and around the world. At its most decent core, America believes in extending human rights to everyone, whatever their nationality. One of the ways the United States fulfills this is by granting asylum to any non-citizen who has a fear of losing his or her basic human rights upon returning to his or her home country.
While the asylum process is a good and righteous thing, it is by no means easy to win asylum in the USA. Those seeking refuge must establish that they fear persecution if they stay in or are forced to return to their home countries. It is possible to be persecuted via economic hardship, but financial difficulties abound worldwide, and this may not be enough to be granted asylum. Those who risk types of physical violence, torture, rape, threats of war, loss of rights, imprisonment, discrimination, or potentially death as a result of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or nationality may be eligible for asylum.
However, even with the most obvious asylum cases where anyone would agree that the asylum seekers’ only hope is to find refuge and protection in a new country, the process can take longer than anyone would like, sometimes taking months and even years.
For a better chance of a successful asylum petition, it is recommended that refugees seek the guidance of immigration attorneys who represent clients through the complicated process of seeking asylum.
What are the Criteria for a Refugee Seeking Asylum?
A person may be eligible for asylum (sometimes referred to as “political asylum” even though the ground for the relief does not necessarily need to be political in nature) if he or she has experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution, on account of his/her race, religion, national origin, political opinion, sexual orientation, or membership in a particular social group. While asylum status may be granted for one or more of these reasons at the same time, one of these reasons must be the primary reason for the fear.
“Well-founded fear” is based on both a subjective and objective standard. Persecution means that the harm an asylum seeker is afraid of is severe enough to be considered a serious violation of one’s human rights. A loss of money or small restriction on liberty is typically not enough to constitute persecution, while a serious threat to one’s life or liberty is more likely to be considered persecution. The United Nations Convention Against Torture may also provide asylum to those who have a legitimate fear of torture in their home country.
Race, religion, and national origin are fairly straightforward. Political opinion asylum does not necessarily require political beliefs in order to be considered a protected opinion; an opinion about a nonpolitical issue can sometimes qualify. An imputed political opinion is sufficient for asylum purposes.
A particular social group is a group of people with a common, immutable trait that either cannot be changed or should never be forced to change. Tribal and ethnic groups, certain female victims of domestic violence, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) commonly fit into this category.
What Instances May Prevent Someone from Being Granted Asylum in the United States?
The conviction of a “particularly serious crime” committed in the United States may prevent a person from being granted asylum. Similarly, such a serious crime committed in a foreign country may also result in your request for asylum being denied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Particularly serious disqualifying crimes include:
- Acts of violence that result in a prison sentence of a year or more and violent crimes which result in serious injury or property damage.
- Child pornography.
- Illegal entry or reentry following deportation for an aggravated felony.
- Money laundering, fraud, or tax evasion worth $10,000+.
- Perjury conviction results in a prison sentence of a year or more.
- Serious criminal convictions for drug possession or distribution.
- Sex crimes.
- Sexual assault of children.
- Smuggling of illegal aliens across the border.
- Theft convictions result in a year or more of prison time.
- Trafficking drugs, firearms, and explosives.
Please note that a conviction is not necessary in some cases. An immigration judge or asylum officer is given the legal discretion to determine whether a crime makes a person dangerous and unsuitable for asylum approval, regardless of sentencing or criminal convictions. Misdemeanor charges are typically not considered disqualifying for those who seek asylum.
Additionally, just as those who seek asylum do so out of fear of persecution, it is important that the applicant not be responsible for the persecution of others. For example, someone’s political opinion may not make them eligible for asylum if that same political stance was discrimination or threats against a particular social group.
Not everyone will see their application approved. In some cases, the USCIS may start the removal proceedings for the applicant, particularly if their criminal history is deemed to be especially heinous and they are deemed to be unlawfully present in the United States.
What Types of Asylum Cases Do America’s Asylum Lawyers Represent?
At the California law firm of the Yew Immigration Law Group, in addition to other forms of immigration cases, asylum attorney Alison Yew can provide legal representation to clients seeking asylum in the U.S. Immigrants looking to go through the legal process to obtain permanent resident status may petition the USCIS and the U.S. government in one of many ways. Asylum status is reserved for only those who have the required legal status and claim for fear of being persecuted.
At our immigration law office, we offer legal services to those looking to obtain asylum on the following grounds:
- Affirmative asylum.
- Asylum based on nationality.
- Asylum based on race.
- Asylum based on religious beliefs.
- Asylum for LGBTQIA+ people and those with a persecuted sexual orientation.
- Asylum from threats and dangers of war.
- Convention against torture.
- Defensive asylum.
- Gender-based asylum.
- Humanitarian asylum.
- Political asylum.
- Protection for a particular social group.
- Protection from a violent spouse if there are no other means for escaping them other than leaving the country.
Asylum attorneys are able to help with the filing of your asylum application by providing confidential communication and high-quality legal representation. In preparation for the extremely important USCIS interview, a good attorney will ensure that all necessary time-sensitive information is provided to the government and that paperwork and documentation are returned to you in a professional and timely manner so that you may avoid unnecessary stress.
At our law office, we would be happy to discuss your unique individual case. Call us to schedule a consultation with our friendly staff.
Schedule a Consultation with the Legal Team of Yew Immigration Law Group, a P.C. Today
Do you have questions about whether you qualify for asylum in the U.S.? Our experienced immigration law attorney is here to help you explore your legal options.
The immigration law office of asylum attorney Alison Yew and her staff are based in San Jose. The asylum lawyer also provides legal services to clients around the Bay Area, including Oakland and San Francisco.
Asylum attorney Alison Yew has over two decades of legal experience and has dedicated her career to helping clients with immigration issues. As your legal representative, your asylum lawyer will seek to improve your situation by helping things move more smoothly. While no attorney can guarantee that those applying for asylum will be successful, with the Yew Immigration Law Group’s years of experience, you can trust that your case will receive proper care and attention, with no detail going overlooked.
It is natural if you still have questions and concerns, as this is a complex legal matter. And it is important to note that what you’re viewing on this website is for general information purposes only. To better determine whether the government will grant your application for asylum, you must meet to speak with our office staff. Only when we have all the facts will we know how best to act on your behalf and whether your individual case is even eligible for asylum in the first place.
For help obtaining asylum status, you may contact us to schedule a case evaluation, where we will be able to better detail the legal services we can assist you with. Call us by phone at (408) 740-3474 or contact us online via email or through our website.