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ICE Turning Away Asylum Seekers at Southern U.S. Border

ICE Turning Away Asylum Seekers at Southern U.S. Border

According to Human Rights Watch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are increasingly turning away immigrants who appear at the border requesting asylum or expressing fear of returning to their native countries, in violation of federal law. According to U.S. immigration law, CBP agents must refer any immigrants seeking asylum or expressing fear of persecution in their home countries to specialist asylum officers, who must conduct what is commonly referred to as a “credible fear” interview. This means that the officer must interview the immigrant and make an initial evaluation of the immigrant’s eligibility for protection under asylum laws. Immigrants and immigrant advocates increasingly are reporting that CBP agents are refusing to accommodate or even acknowledge immigrants’ requests for asylum at the border. Some agents apparently are telling immigrants that they simply cannot file for asylum, particularly along the Mexican border. In fact, Human Rights First issued a new report that detailed more than 100 incidents in which border guards refused to allow immigrants to meet with specialist asylum officers or otherwise pursue an asylum claim. These immigrants include individuals who clearly were entitled to seek asylum, including a Mexican woman raped by gang members after refusing to turn over her son, a former Guatemalan police officer who worked against gangs, and a Mexican man who was kidnapped after witnessing violent acts perpetrated by a drug cartel. Immigration advocates fear that these behaviors and attitudes by CBP agents will only worsen under the Trump administration. Some CBP agents reportedly are referring to Trump or repeating his rhetoric in denying immigrants the opportunity to seek asylum. While some incidents such as these certainly occurred prior to 2017, it appears that the incidents have only increased with the new administration. When you or a loved one are detained and face deportation for any reason, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.

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