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Asylum Seekers Turned Away at Border File Suit Against U.S. Government

Asylum Seekers Turned Away at Border File Suit Against U.S. Government

According to a recent Reuters report, Al Otro Lado, a non-profit legal services group, has filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of Homeland Security and the federal government on behalf of a group of individuals seeking asylum from gang and drug violence in Honduras and Mexico. Al Otro Lado filed the class action lawsuit in central California’s U.S. District Court. In the lawsuit, the individuals claim that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents improperly turned them away at the U.S.-Mexico border, denying them the chance to seek asylum and placing them in serious danger. This group reports that border agents used “misrepresentation, threats, and intimidation” to deny entry to asylum-seekers at various border crossings located in California, Arizona and Texas. Under U.S. immigration laws, border agents must refer an individual for an interview with an asylum officer if the individual appears at the U.S. border and expresses fear of returning to his or country of origin. The lawsuit cites one detailed example of a woman who presented herself and her children at the port of entry located at San Ysidro, California. She reportedly expressed her fear of returning to Mexico due to the fact that her brother-in-law, a high-ranking police official, was killed and dismembered by a drug cartel, who later threatened her family. Instead of referring the woman to an asylum officer for an interview, the border agent coerced her into signing a form withdrawing her application for admission to the U.S., despite her clearly stated fear of returning to Mexico. The form reportedly was in English, which the woman could not understand. Individuals who believe that they qualify for asylum, refugee status, or who have another valid deportation defense need an experienced California immigration attorney who can assist them with this often complex process. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we know how to stand up for the rights of those who are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Call us today at (510) 756-4468 and schedule an appointment with one of our deportation defense lawyers, and learn how we can assist you.

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