In Florida and throughout the country, there is an intense debate about granting asylum to those who seek it in the United States. However, the Highland Human Rights Clinic and others like it are trying to help corroborate a person's story by finding physical evidence of abuse. Evidence may include burn marks, broken bones that haven't set properly or bullet wounds on a person's body.
At the Highland clinic, patients are diagnosed using international standards of determining whether someone has been a torture victim. The medical director there says he also listens to patients' stories to determine if what they say matches up with the physical marks on their bodies. He says that the physical evidence matches the stories that they tell in many cases. However, this is not always true. His experience has taught him how to look for specific signs of abuse that can help an attorney obtain a favorable outcome for an individual.
Part of the criteria to obtain asylum is showing that applicants are subject to physical violence if they are sent home. The threat that they face could be based on their race, ethnicity or religion, among other factors. Data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse shows that 38 percent of asylum seekers were granted it in 2017.
Working with an immigration law professional may make it easier for a person to obtain asylum in the United States. An attorney may be able to obtain medical evidence or other information that could convince a judge that an immigrant's story is truthful. Ultimately, this may make it possible to get a favorable ruling.