The asylum and refugee process in the United States is meant to protect those who have faced or may face torture and prosecution back home. Often, refugees and Asylees are able to rebuild their lives in the United States and are able to escape the prosecution they may face due to political unrest or due to their race, ethnicity, religion, politics, or community.
Even though the system is designed to assist those who are most vulnerable around the world, each year legitimate claimants are denied asylum or refugee status and are forced to return home, often to very dangerous situations. The reality is that asylum seekers need legal support during the application process for a few reasons:
1) There is often a language barrier.
Asylum seekers have only one year after their last entry into the United States to apply for Asylum status. At that point, they may still be learning the language, making it difficult for them to understand and fill out forms or even to speak effectively during the interview with an Asylum Officer. An immigration attorney can offer service in a native language or can work with a qualified translator to ensure no important details get lost because of language issues.
2) The laws and application process can be confusing.
The laws surrounding immigration and Asylum are not just meant to assist those in need of help; they’re meant to keep Americans safe. The application process can be deeply intimidating, especially for someone who is fleeing government violence or corruption in their homeland. The frequently-changing laws and complex legal issues can be difficult to understand.
A caring and understanding immigration attorney can make all the difference by assisting with the application process, answering questions, and preparing the strongest application possible. An experienced attorney also understands what it takes to prove your eligibility for asylum and how to create a strong case. If you don’t qualify for asylum, an attorney may be able to suggest other options, such as Temporary Protected Status or other protections.
3) There may be extenuating circumstances.
Many asylum seekers face great challenges. They may have suffered torture or may have had to leave family behind, for example. They may be trying to fit into a new country with new customs. For some asylum seekers, however, the situation is even more dire. They may be seriously injured, expecting a child, or may be at risk of separation from their immediate families. When there are special circumstances, an immigration attorney can work to provide support and can offer suggestions about legal avenues that can provide assistance.
4) The burden of proof can be difficult to meet.
Some asylum seekers leave with little more than the clothes on their back and some governments are very good at hiding evidence of torture or persecution. Proving that someone faces jail, death, or inhumane treatment back home can be difficult. An immigration attorney is skilled at gathering evidence, finding documentation, and showing proof in cases and may be able to build a strong case for you.
If you qualify for asylum status, it’s important to apply as soon as possible and to get legal advice immediately. You have only a limited amount of time to apply for asylum and getting the application right the first time can help you get legal status sooner so you and your family can start building your new life. If you’d like to speak to a caring and professional immigration attorney, contact Flaxman Law Group. We’re able to offer a free and confidential consultation so you can talk to our attorneys in our Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami offices.