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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Chicago asylum attorneys

asylum appeals, international law, Chicago asylum attorneys, asylee claims, asylee statusOn April 21, 2017, a Nicaraguan man applying for asylum in Florida was deported back to his native country, despite a history of threats made against him, and the fact that his application was in process. There has been considerable outrage over this matter, but also some confusion.

Immigration laws are not being enforced in the manner to which most people are accustomed, and this can lead to paralysis. Understanding your rights can help protect you.

Refugees vs. Asylees

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DuPage County asylum attorneys, ICE policy, transgender refugeesVery often, the most vulnerable people seek asylum in the United States, fleeing oppressive and dangerous conditions in their home countries. Yet what many do not realize is that sometimes, the waiting for a decision can be arguably just as difficult and dangerous. This is especially true for transgender and non-gender-conforming people, who make up approximately one of every 500 immigrants, and an even higher proportion of asylum seekers. However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun to make changes to their policies regarding these potential asylees, which can only improve quality of life in general.

Is Gender Identity Covered by Asylum Law?

U.S. asylum law has its roots in the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 protocol on refugees. The definition of a refugee propagated in the Convention is the one contained almost word for word in the U.S. Immigration & Nationality Act, and it permits application for asylum if someone is unable to obtain protection from, or return to, his or her country of nationality. If these criteria are met, there are five grounds on which someone may apply under U.S. law for asylum. Those grounds are race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

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Posted on in Immigration

persecution, asylum, Chicago Asylum AttorneyTo obtain asylum in the United States, it is necessary to make a convincing showing to an immigration judge that you have a reasonable fear of danger if you return to your home country. This can be done by showing that there is a likelihood that you will be persecuted, or it may be shown by displaying evidence of past persecution. However, not every instance of abuse rises to the level of persecution. It is important to know the difference, because immigration judges certainly do.

Asylum Law Fundamentals

When a person applies for asylum in the United States, there are fundamental facts he or she must be able to prove to the immigration judge overseeing his or her case. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as someone who has a well-founded fear of persecution in the future, either based on past persecution or on risk of persecution in the future if returned to their homeland because of their membership in a particular social group.

Persecution, either in the past or in the future, has no specific definition in U.S. law. The INA defines some examples that always qualify as persecution, such as threats against someone’s life or liberty based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and other beliefs. However, the list is not meant to be exhaustive. It is not always physical; if severe enough, emotional or mental abuse can qualify as persecution.

The INA also specifies that the agent of this persecution must either be a governmental entity or an entity that the government has shown an inability (or unwillingness) to control. The prevailing opinion is that the government of a country is supposed to be able to control fringe elements within its borders, and if they can do so, the applicant can rely on their government instead of fleeing the country entirely.

Defining Persecution

Immigration Equality has defined five broad categories into which behavior classed as persecution by judges routinely falls. They are:

    • Serious physical harm (rape, routine beatings, kidnapping, confinement and other examples);

    • Forced or threatening medical or psychological treatment (such as being subjected to electric shock or “corrective” rape);

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