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Victory for filing Asylum

Question: I have heard that some new case just came down as a victory for a person filing for asylum. Is that true.

Answer: Yes. For years due process rights have been stripped away from aliens. These people who come into the United States are at the mercy of the laws of the United States. Many aliens apply for asylum in order to avoid having to return to their own countries which have persecuted them. They will leave everything behind and come to the United States with nothing else than the clothes on their backs. They are desperate people who are looking for refuge.

Once they come to the United States, they have one year to apply for asylum. First, the asylum will be processed and decided by the asylum officer. If that officer denies the case, it is immediately referred or sent to the Immigration Judge. In other words, when the alien loses at the asylum officer level, he or she is immediately put into deportation (now known as removal) proceedings.

The Immigration Judge will be able to hear the case de novo. Many times an alien will attempt the first try at asylum by themselves, and then, only after they lose at the asylum officer level will they secure counsel.

If the Immigration Judge denies the case, then it can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Lately, the Board of Immigration Appeals has been issuing summary decisions which are basically two to three lines long. These decisions many times will not give any type of reasoning as to why the decision was issued and why the alien’s case was denied.
However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just issued a decision which not only verifies certain due process rights still available for aliens, but criticizes the Board of Immigration Appeals on this particular decision.

In this case the Court had to decide whether the Board of Immigration Appeals erred in dismissing an appeal when the petitioner (the person applying for asylum) dutifully followed all regulations and procedures pertaining to filing his Notice of Appeal, but the Board of Immigration Appeals itself deprived him of the opportunity to timely file his brief by sending the briefing schedule and transcripts of proceedings to the wrong address.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (”INS”) contended that the Board of Immigration Appeals decision, dismissing petitioner’s appeal from the denial of asylum solely on adverse credibility grounds, should be affirmed despite the Board of Immigration Appeals failure to provide any notice and any opportunity to be heard. In other words, the Immigration Judge denied the asylum claim only and solely because he had found the alien not to be credible.
The Court ruled that because these minimal due process requirements are clear and fundamental, and petitioner was prejudiced by an adverse credibility determination unsupported by substantial evidence, that they would grant the petition. However, the path they took to grant the petition was full of statements to the Board of Immigration Appeals which indicate they were not pleased with the decision making process in this case.

In this case, the alien had timely filed an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. However, he had moved subsequent to filing the Notice of Appeal. Over one year later, the Board of Immigration Appeals had sent the briefing schedule to the alien’s old address. It stated when the opening brief needed to be filed. Once the alien had received notification of the briefing schedule the date for the filing of the brief had passed. He filed an unopposed motion to the Board of Immigration Appeals to be allowed to file a late brief based upon the fact he never received the briefing schedule. The Board of Immigration Appeals denied his request and ruled that his asylum will be denied because of the inconsistent testimony which they had refused to allow him to brief in order to explain why such inconsistencies might have occurred.

The Court stated that the alien provided a credible account of persecution on political and religious grounds. The alien, Singh fled his native India after suffering persecution due to his support of religious and political rights for the Sikh minority in the Punjab province of India. He entered the United States without inspection in November of 1995 and filed an application for asylum. On September 26, 1996, the Immigration and Naturalization Service commenced deportation proceedings against him.

In his asylum application, and during seven subsequent hearings before an Immigration Judge held over the course of more than four years, Singh described his activism on behalf of the Sikh separatist movement in Punjab, including his membership in the All India Sikh Student Federation (”AISSF”) and his support of the Akali Dal Party.

At the age of nineteen, Singh became involved with the AISSF after an attack on the Sikh Golden Temple, which was believed to be the work of Indian security forces. In 1988, Singh was arrested during an AISSF rally that he organized in Jallhandar. He was held in jail for fifteen days, while being beaten and tortured by the police. He was never charged with a crime nor brought before a judge.

In January of 1992, Indian police again arrested Singh without a warrant. He was held for twenty days, beaten with a bamboo stick, punched, kicked, and threatened with death if he did not end his affiliation with the AISSF. The police told him he was arrested because of his association with Sikh militants, even though he adamantly denied any such association.

In August 1993, Singh was arrested for a third time, along with three other AISSF members, while leaving the Sikh temple in his village. He was held by the police for thirteen days, during which time he was beaten until he lost consciousness. His head was shaved, an affront to Sikh religious practice, and he was then forced to stand for hours under the hot summer sun.

In April 1995, Singh testified that he was arrested for a fourth and final time while distributing party posters and collecting party funds. This time, he was held in jail for thirty-five days, again without being charged with a crime or taken before a judge. While in jail, he was tortured, humiliated, and threatened with death if he continued to support the AISSF.

The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled that they found three inconsistencies (even though they did not let the alien explain those inconsistencies.) The Court held that adverse credibility findings are reviewed for substantial evidence. The Court went on to rule that the Board of Immigration Appeals refusal to allow Singh to file a brief explaining his allegedly inconsistent testimony violated his right to due process. They ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals must provide a petitioner with a reasonable opportunity to offer an explanation of any perceived inconsistencies that form the basis of a denial of asylum. Denying Singh the opportunity to file a brief plainly violates this well-established due process right.
In statements which the Board was reprimanded, the Court stated that the Board, after sending the briefing schedule and transcript to an incorrect address, justified denying Singh’s motion to file a late brief by asserting that the motion was untimely. However, to comport with due process requirements, the notice afforded aliens about deportation proceedings must be reasonably calculated to reach them. The Court stated that notice mailed to an address different from the one Singh provided could not have conceivably been reasonably calculated to reach him. As Singh was not afforded notice of the deadline, the Board of Immigration Appeals reasoning that his motion was untimely is patently insufficient.

Singh’s testimony took place over the course of seven hearings spread out over four years, during some of which he was so fatigued that the hearing had to be continued “in deference to the respondent’s condition.” After reviewing Singh’s testimony alongside his explanatory brief, the Court concluded that the testimony was remarkably consistent given the circumstances. The Board of Immigration Appeals decision to the contrary was not supported by substantial evidence, and could only be a result of its refusal to entertain Singh’s brief. The Court went on further to state that the Board of Immigration Appeals own words were revealing: it considered its conclusion bolstered by he fact that Singh failed to provide “any specific and detailed arguments about the contents of his testimony and why he should be deemed a credible witness.” Because the Board of Immigration Appeals denied him the opportunity to do just that, they reversed its determination that Singh is not credible.

In its final ruling, the Court held that because the adverse credibility decision was the sole basis for the denial of asylum, substantial evidence compelled them to find that Singh is eligible for asylum. They remanded the case back to the Board of Immigration Appeals to exercise its discretion, accepting Singh’s testimony as credible, to determine whether to grant asylum.

This case is a victory for aliens insofar as it shows that their due process rights cannot simply be trampled upon and that they must be afforded some level of due process in their asylum claims.

Federal Judicial Review

 

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996included restrictions on federal judicial review of deportation, exclusion and removal cases. Former INA § 106, passed in 1961 by the United States Congress, had provided the basis for judicial review of immigration matters until its elimination by IIRIRA which replaced it with INA § 242, (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252).

After the passage of IIRIRA, different procedures were created for judicial review of removal orders, including exclusion or deportation orders, and for immigration decisions generally. Decisions regarding judicial review of removal orders are now subject to INA § 242 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252). Review of immigration decisions outside of removal proceedings are governed by (28U.S.C.A. § 1331) and the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act and occur in the District Courts.

Judicial review of immigration decisions can be divided into three categories depending on the date of commencement of proceedings or issuance of a final order. If a person had a final order of deportation or exclusion entered before October 30, 1996, judicial review was governed by former INA § 106. Deportation or exclusion cases which were commenced on or before October 30, 1996—but where no final deportation or exclusion order had yet been issued—are subject to the transition rules under IIRIRA. Judicial review of post-IIRIRA removal proceedings initiated on or after April 1, 1997 are governed by INA § 242 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252) which provide limited judicial review of many immigration matters.Except as provided in INA § 242(b) (8U.S.C.A. § 1252(b)). (requirements for review of removal orders), judicial review of a final order of removal is governed by Chapter 158 of Title 28 of the United States Code, except that courts may not order taking of additional evidence under (28 U.S.C.A. § 2347(c). However, there are matters not subject to judicial review as outlined in INA § 242(a)(2) (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252 (a) (2)). Generally, judicial review of an order of removal lies with the circuit courts of appeals.

Under several provisions contained in IIRIRA, the United States Congress sought to simplify and expedite the removal of aliens, including either eliminating or severely limiting judicial review of immigration decisions as follows:

(1) elimination or limitation of judicial review under INA § 242 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252): this provision contains a variety of court stripping or limiting provisions;
(2) elimination of review regarding discretionary decisions relating to detention, or release, including the grant, revocation or denial of bond or parole;
(3) elimination of review of decisions of the Attorney General or his or her successor regarding voluntary departure;
(4) elimination of challenges against the United States or its agencies or officers under INA § 279 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1329).;
(5) restriction on judicial review of certain legalization claims other than in the context of review of a final order of deportation or removal unless the person filed within the original deadline or was refused (“front-desked”) by the legacy INS at the time and
(6) restriction on review of the denial of the right to seek asylum because the applicant;

(a) could seek protection in a safe third country;
(b) was previously denied asylum;
(c) did not file the application within one year of entry; or
(d) is deemed to be a terrorist.

Despite the restrictions created by IIRIRA precluding judicial review of a broad range of immigration related matters, federal courts still retain jurisdiction to review jurisdictional facts and determine the proper scope, if any, of its own jurisdiction.

Generally, petitioners must exhaust all administrative remedies prior to requesting review of a final order. Additionally, petitioners must comply with general Article III requirements relating to subject matter jurisdiction, standing, ripeness, mootness and the political question doctrine. These and the other bars to judicial review noted above must be addressed prior to reaching the merits of a case

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996included restrictions on federal judicial review of deportation, exclusion and removal cases. Former INA § 106, passed in 1961 by the United States Congress, had provided the basis for judicial review of immigration matters until its elimination by IIRIRA which replaced it with INA § 242, (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252).  

After the passage of IIRIRA, different procedures were created for judicial review of removal orders, including exclusion or deportation orders, and for immigration decisions generally. Decisions regarding judicial review of removal orders are now subject to INA § 242 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252). Review of immigration decisions outside of removal proceedings are governed by (28U.S.C.A. § 1331) and the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act and occur in the District Courts.

Judicial review of immigration decisions can be divided into three categories depending on the date of commencement of proceedings or issuance of a final order. If a person had a final order of deportation or exclusion entered before October 30, 1996, judicial review was governed by former INA § 106. Deportation or exclusion cases which were commenced on or before October 30, 1996—but where no final deportation or exclusion order had yet been issued—are subject to the transition rules under IIRIRA. Judicial review of post-IIRIRA removal proceedings initiated on or after April 1, 1997 are governed by INA § 242 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252) which provide limited judicial review of many immigration matters.Except as provided in INA § 242(b) (8U.S.C.A. § 1252(b)). (requirements for review of removal orders), judicial review of a final order of removal is governed by Chapter 158 of Title 28 of the United States Code, except that courts may not order taking of additional evidence under (28 U.S.C.A. § 2347(c). However, there are matters not subject to judicial review as outlined in INA § 242(a)(2) (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252 (a) (2)). Generally, judicial review of an order of removal lies with the circuit courts of appeals.

 

Under several provisions contained in IIRIRA, the United States Congress sought to simplify and expedite the removal of aliens, including either eliminating or severely limiting judicial review of immigration decisions as follows:

(1) elimination or limitation of judicial review under INA § 242 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1252): this provision contains a variety of court stripping or limiting provisions;
(2) elimination of review regarding discretionary decisions relating to detention, or release, including the grant, revocation or denial of bond or parole;
(3) elimination of review of decisions of the Attorney General or his or her successor regarding voluntary departure;
(4) elimination of challenges against the United States or its agencies or officers under INA § 279 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1329).;
(5) restriction on judicial review of certain legalization claims other than in the context of review of a final order of deportation or removal unless the person filed within the original deadline or was refused (“front-desked”) by the legacy INS at the time and
(6) restriction on review of the denial of the right to seek asylum because the applicant;

(a) could seek protection in a safe third country;
(b) was previously denied asylum;
(c) did not file the application within one year of entry; or
(d) is deemed to be a terrorist.

Despite the restrictions created by IIRIRA precluding judicial review of a broad range of immigration related matters, federal courts still retain jurisdiction to review jurisdictional facts and determine the proper scope, if any, of its own jurisdiction.

Generally, petitioners must exhaust all administrative remedies prior to requesting review of a final order. Additionally, petitioners must comply with general Article III requirements relating to subject matter jurisdiction, standing, ripeness, mootness and the political question doctrine. These and the other bars to judicial review noted above must be addressed prior to reaching the merits of a case

What is Appeals?

Our law firm prepares each and every kind of appeal regarding all types of petitions and applications under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Appeals can be made from the Immigration Court, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, the Department of Labor and many more.

Appeals go to many different types of entities. Depending on where the original denial came from, appeals can go to the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals, the Administrative Appeals Unit, various Federal District Courts, various Federal Appellate Circuit Courts and the United States Supreme Court.

Appeals are extremely time sensitive. This means that if the appeal is sent one day late, you will have probably lost all chances to ever appeal the decision. Our law firm can get the appeal out in an expedited timely manner to ensure that you are protected.

Convention Against Torture

Generally, if you will be tortured, imprisoned, or persecuted for various reasons upon returning to your home country, you may qualify for relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). You can only apply for this form of relief if you are in Removal or Deportation Proceedings.

The implementation of CAT is from an International Treaty which the United States has agreed to be a country subject to the provisions of this treaty. It is officially known as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984 entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1). While it has been around for some time, it was only recently that the United States recently ratified its provisions.

Refugee Adjustment

If you have been a refugee or held asylum status for at least one year, you may be eligible to change your status to that of a permanent resident.

There is a large package that must be prepared and sent to BCIS . A copy of the letter granting you derivative asylee status either on the basis of having been included on the principal’s original asylum application or on the basis of having been the beneficiary of a petition filed by the principal.

Evidence of one year’s physical presence in the United States. Please keep physical presence evidence to an absolute minimum. Evidence might include a letter of employment, a lease, school enrollment records, or similar documentation, which would cover broad periods of time.

If you wish to travel outside of the U.S. (and return) while your application is being processed, you may use Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to apply for a refugee travel document. More information may be found at Emergency Travel, and How Do I Get a Travel Document.

Each of the above named applications must be complete in its own right. All required documentation must be submitted with each concurrent application.

If you apply for work authorization and do not receive the document within 90 days of filing the application, you may obtain an interim work authorization document. After 90 days have passed, simply present the receipt that shows you have filed Form I-765 at your local office.

Asylum: Other Issues

Can I Travel Outside the United States?

If you are applying for asylum and you want to travel outside the United States, you must receive advance permission before you leave the United States in order to return to the United States. This advance permission is called Advance Parole. If you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with the BCIS and you may not be permitted to return to the United States. If your application for asylum is approved, you may apply for a Refugee Travel Document. This document will allow you to travel abroad and return to the United States. For more information, see How Do I Get a Travel Document?.

Will I Get a Work Permit?

Asylum applicants can not apply for employment authorization at the same time they apply for asylum. Rather, you must wait 150 days after the BCIS receives a complete application before you can apply for employment authorization. The BCIS has 30 days to either grant or deny your request for employment. Please see How Do I Get a Work Permit? for more information.

How Can I Find Out About the Status of My Application?

Please contact the BCIS Asylum Office that received your application. You should be prepared to provide the BCIS staff with specific information about your application. Please click here for complete instructions on checking the status of your application. Click here for information on BCIS offices.

How Can I Appeal?

Applicants will be interviewed by an Asylum Officer or an Immigration Judge. The Asylum Officer will either approve your application or refer it to an Immigration Judge for a final decision. If the Immigration Judge denies your asylum application, you will receive a letter telling you how to appeal the decision. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.

Definition of a Refugee

Prior to 1980, departure from communist-dominated or communist-occupied states, or departure from countries in the Middle East, was generally sufficient justification for refugee eligibility. Until this time, U.S. refugee policy was dominated by Cold War geopolitical concerns and strategies. The Refugee Act of 1980 sought to eliminate the prevailing geographic and ideological preferences and to emphasize that persecution, not provenance, was to be the basis for determining refugee eligibility.

The Refugee Act formally incorporated into U.S. law the international definition of refugee contained in the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. A refugee is defined as a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. By Presidential Determination certain refugees may be processed while still in their countries of origin (Cuba, Vietnam, and the former Soviet Union). While in-country processing was designed to be an exceptional remedy to refugees of compelling need, a large percentage of all refugees admitted to the United States have been processed in-country.

Under U.S. law, a person who has committed acts of persecution, or has assisted in the commission of persecution in any way, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is not eligible for classification as a refugee

Can I Petition my Father who was been deported?

My father was deported 10 year ago. He was charge of 220.03,  can i put a petition for him – Immigration – Avvo.com http://ping.fm/af0HL

ICE knocking on my door

I have ICE officer came to check on us, and I wasn’t home. – Immigration – Avvo.com http://ping.fm/Q9Qo8

I am inadmissible under section 212 and need help

An alien who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C)(i) of the
> Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(C)(i) (2006), is
> ineligible for adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C.
> § 1255(i) (2006). Matter of Briones, 24 I&N Dec.355 (BIA 2007), reaffirmed.

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