Asylum and Refugee Matters

Immigration & Nationality Law

U.S. and international law obligate the U.S. government to grant asylum to foreign nationals who flee persecution in their home countries on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion or who have a well-founded fear of such persecution in the future if they return to their home country.  Persecution is defined to be a threat to life or freedom or the infliction of suffering or harm and includes the deliberate infliction of severe economic disadvantage or the deprivation of liberty, food, housing, employment or other essentials of life.

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Persecution must be by the government of an applicant’s home country or by private actors in a foreign national’s home country whose actions the government condones or from whom the government cannot protect.  Usually asylum applicants must file for asylum within one year entering the United States with certain exceptions.  Such exceptions include, for example:

  1. filing while the applicant is in a nonimmigrant status or in another immigration status such as Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”);
  2. filing within a reasonable period of time after the end of an applicant’s nonimmigrant status or the end of another immigration status previously granted an applicant;
  3. a change in conditions in an applicant’s home country;
  4. a change in the applicant’s circumstances or activities; and
  5. extraordinary circumstances, including serious illness or mental impairment, minor age, or other circumstances considered to be extraordinary.

Applications for asylum may be filed affirmatively with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) or defensively after an applicant has been placed in removal proceedings.

Under the Trump Administration, seeking asylum in the United States has become more difficult on account of changes in government policies and the issuance of precedential decisions restricting asylum eligibility.  For this reason, it is more important than ever that asylum applicants be represented by counsel experienced in asylum matters.

HSPRD attorneys have years of experience representing applicants for asylum before the USCIS and the Immigration Courts.  We are also experienced in helping individuals granted asylees bring family members to the United States.

To schedule a consultation to discuss retaining HSPRD attorneys to provide representation in an asylum matter, please contact our Firm at 312-239-7676.

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