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The president may be limited in ending asylum

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2018 | Asylum

Florida residents may have heard about a migrant caravan crossing into Mexico recently. Its stated goal is to come to the United States, and President Trump has vowed to deny asylum to some or all in the caravan who attempt to enter the country. However, it is unclear whether or not the president has the power to do so. At a minimum, such a move would be challenged in court.

The right to seek asylum is backed by the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the 1990 Immigration and Nationality Act. Asylum means that a person is seeking protection in a foreign land after escaping persecution or other violence in their home country. Anyone who reaches a port of entry or is in the country may request such protection, and this is true even if they enter the country illegally.

As part of the application process, an individual must show that they have a credible fear of returning home. According to President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, most claims are not legitimate. In fact, Sessions has moved to bar individuals from seeking asylum based on fears of gang or domestic violence. Trump has used his 2017 travel ban as a legal basis for blocking asylum claims from members of the recent caravan.

Those who have a fear of persecution may be entitled to remain in the United States. In fact, they may also be able to remain in the country while their asylum case is ongoing. An attorney may be able to help a person understand the process and their rights while in the United States. As a general rule, a person has a better chance of obtaining a favorable outcome with the help of legal counsel.