• Maria Cordon

Asylum. #Political Opinion, #Religion, #Nationality, # Particular Social Group, #Race.

Asylum law is complicated and encompasses volumes of domestic and international law. This is a brief summary and not legal advice.

There may be more reasons but your persecution has to fit into at least one of the five categories: 1) political opinion, 2) religion, 3) nationality, 4) social particular group, or 5) race.

Texas is part of the Fifth Circuit. Fifth Circuit caselaw holds that there may be several reasons why a person may be persecuted but for the case to prosper a central reason persecution must be on account of political opinion, religion, nationality, particular social group, or race.

Individuals can win their case if the asylum officer or judge determines that applicant fears returning to their country of nationality because he or she has suffered persecution or is afraid of being persecuted in the future if they return. Fear has to comply with the standards established by law.

Asylum seekers within the United States are expressing an intention to immigrate permanently to the United States if their asylum claim is granted. Some applicants may not qualify for asylum. For example, they applied after one year of entering the United States and there are no change of circumstances in their country of nationality. There is ongoing conversation/litigation on this issue.

There are other legal remedies such as Withholding of Removal or Convention Against Torture (CAT) where you need to demonstrate a much higher persecution level than in an asylum case for any of same five grounds listed above. Withholding of Removal standard has been defined with different words such as clear possibility that the applicant will be persecuted in the future is more likely than not. CAT persecution level has been explained as a clear possibility that the government from the refugee’s country of nationality will torture applicant or is impotent to prevent this torture. One year after winning their asylum case or being admitted as a refugee, people can apply for permanent residency, if they meet other conditions imposed by law. Applicant testimony with enough facts, clearly stated to demonstrate credibility, is extremely important.

Attorney Maria M. Cordon can help you assess if making an asylum claim is a good strategy for you and help you demonstrate how your facts comply with asylum, withholding, or CAT legal standards.


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