The real process of applying for refugee status and asylum in the United States
FELICIA J. PERSAUD | 6/28/2018, midnight
Defensive asylum processing
A defensive application for asylum occurs when an immigrant requests asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. For asylum processing to be defensive, the immigrant must be in removal proceedings in immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
Individuals are generally placed into defensive asylum processing in one of two ways:
They are referred to an immigration judge by USCIS after they have been determined to be ineligible for asylum at the end of the affirmative asylum process, or they are placed in removal proceedings because they were apprehended (or caught) in the United States or at a U.S. port of entry without proper legal documents or in violation of their immigration status.
They were caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection trying to enter the United States without proper documentation, for example, crossing the border illegally, and were placed in the expedited removal process, or were found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture by an asylum officer at the border.
Immigration Judges hear defensive asylum cases in courtroom-like proceedings. The judge will hear arguments from both the individual (and his or her attorney, if represented) and the U.S. government, which is represented by an attorney from Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The immigration judge then decides whether the individual is eligible for asylum. If found eligible, the immigration judge will order asylum to be granted. If found ineligible for asylum, the immigration judge will determine whether the individual is eligible for any other forms of relief from removal. If found ineligible for other forms of relief, the immigration judge will order the individual to be removed from the United States. The immigration judge’s decision can be appealed by either party.
These laws are on the books, despite what Donald Trump says. Know your rights!