Florida residents with questions about immigration may be interested in knowing that credible fear asylum claims have climbed considerably over the past year, according to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Credible fear is the initial step toward claiming asylum, which is one of the ways immigrants are able to gain legal access to the country. Between 2017 and 2018, these claims climbed 67 percent.
Because there are so many asylum claims, U.S. border authorities have requested that hopeful immigrants remain in Mexico for several weeks to give them time to process applications. Before the latest caravan arrived, the wait time to claim asylum from Tijuana was six weeks. In an attempt to deny access to the country, the President of the United States attempted to deny asylum to anyone illegally entering the country from Mexico. However, a federal judge blocked his order.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released the numbers publicly to draw attention to the number of asylum claims it is processing. Migrants continue to approach the U.S. border in large numbers. One caravan of over 6,000 migrants attempting to seek asylum in San Diego reached the border, causing another spike in credible fear asylum claims. While one commissioner explained that asylum claims are not always successful, in 2018, judges granted asylum in 21 percent of cases.
People who have questions about whether asylum is the right choice for themselves or their loved ones may consider working with an attorney with experience in asylum claims. An attorney well-versed in immigration law may be able to help someone decide if claiming asylum is his or her best option to gain legal entry to the United States.