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Court pushes for asylum reviews for separated immigrant families

Many people who live in Florida entered the country as immigrants. Despite the hostility of the Trump administration toward Central Americans seeking asylum at the southern border with Mexico, a federal judge has ruled that immigration authorities must process asylum claims for dozens of adults and children who were separated at the border during 2018.

In September, a settlement agreement between federal officials and the courts was meant to launch the process of reconsidering asylum applications of over 1,000 people. At the time, attorneys from the Department of Justice indicated that they would begin reconsidering claims. Instead, government lawyers later tried to delay the work by arguing that the settlement was not yet official because it awaits a scheduled hearing to evaluate its fairness.

The federal judge hearing the case did not accept the argument and ordered the government to observe the terms of the settlement. The agreement emerged after widespread protests condemned the seizing of children from their parents at the border. Approximately 2,500 people should have a chance to have their asylum claims processed, according to the settlement.

A person who needs to approach immigration officials might benefit from the representation of an attorney. With legal advice, an individual could gain information about what situations could qualify for asylum. A lawyer might strive to help someone collect documents that illustrate the dangers of returning to his or her country of origin. When filing a case with immigration officials, an attorney could challenge any attempts to violate his or her client's rights. The assistance of a lawyer might enable a person to navigate the bureaucracy and effectively communicate the threats that drove him or her to request refuge.

Source: Reuters, "Judge orders U.S. to review asylum for separated migrant families", Tom Hals, October 18, 2018

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