Law Offices of George Giosmas

25 years of experience

Government changes asylum rules

Individuals claiming fear of gang or domestic violence in their home country will automatically have their applications for asylum rejected. This is according to new guidance issued by the Trump administration. It comes about a month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that victims of such violence no longer qualified for protection within the United States. However, individuals can still come to Florida or other states and ask for asylum on other grounds.

Those grounds include fear of political, religious or racial persecution in their country of origin. Groups such as the United Nations High Commission on Refugees and the American Bar Association opposed the decision. Members of both the House and Senate have expressed their disbelief about the change as well. According to the Tahirih Justice Center, 38 percent of those it is helping to seek asylum are doing so because they were victims of violence.

As a general rule, those who don't have legal status within the United States must leave as soon as possible. Failure to do so could lead to being forcefully removed from the country. Individuals who wish to remain in America may be able to ask for asylum or for permanent resident status. An attorney may help a person accomplish that goal.

An immigrant may be granted legal status if he or she has ties to the community or has an employer willing to sponsor him or her. If a person came to the country with a valid visa, it may be possible to extend it while a court case is pending. Those who are applying for asylum may also be allowed to remain with a family member while the government decides whether to grant the request.

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