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What is “Asylum” and Why Has it Been in the News?

Under current immigration law, the U.S. attorney general may, as a matter of discretion, grant asylum to a foreign national who is eligible to apply for asylum and who qualifies as a “refugee.” This is typically accomplished by working with your lawyer to fill out an I-589 form, with appropriate documentation, and submitting it to USCIS or an Immigration Judge.

Suspending Entry

On November 9, 2018, the President issued a proclamation addressing migration through the Southern border of the United States. The proclamation suspended, “entry of any alien into the United States across the international boundary between the United States and Mexico.” However, “the suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to any alien who enters the United States at a port of entry and properly presents for inspection, or to any lawful permanent resident of the United States.”

This move dovetails with the administration’s broader efforts at limiting the availability of asylum relief in the United States. “Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a joint statement, the day before the President’s proclamation took effect.

Challenges for Future Asylum Seekers

This means asylum requests will be even more difficult to obtain than they are now. It is important to work with a seasoned immigration attorney who can analyze your case and suggest the best route forward. A consultation may reveal additional, stronger arguments for your ability to gain lawful status in the United States. If you have questions about asylum applications, or other immigration issues, contact the professional immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office to arrange for a consultation today.

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