What happens when you filed an asylum application yourself, and after your interview, you get placed in removal proceedings and your asylum application is referred to the immigration court? Is that a denial? What should you do next?
You may feel that you are being deported, or that your case has no chance of winning at all. But that’s not really the case.
You can think of it as an opportunity to present your case better in Court. Maybe there were some elements you missed. Maybe you failed to support your case further initially.
We had a couple of cases recently, one for a client from Cameroon and another for a client from Ethiopia, where both filed their initial CIS asylum application themselves. No attorneys. Their cases were denied at the CIS level and referred to the immigration court, and then they retained our firm. And ultimately they had an opportunity to present their case better, and fortunately the Immigration Judge granted their cases.
One good thing about having your case in immigration court is that you have an opportunity to present your case through questions initially asked by your own attorney. So if there are any specific details or events that you want emphasized, the attorney can zone in on those in direct examination.
I remember our attorney Glen preparing both clients twice for hours prior to each of the individual hearings, with over a hundred questions each.
You see there are many issues involved in asylum applications, not just whether you were harmed or not. People simply focus on the harm they experienced, without tying it to other aspects of asylum law nor detailing the specifics of the event.
Is there a one year issue?
Are you part of a protected group?
Is the persecution related to you being part of that protected group?
Did the harm you or your family experienced rise to the level of persecution needed for asylum?
Is there a firm resettlement or relocation issue?
Are your supporting documents, the dates, places, and names listed on those, corroborating your testimony?
Are your supporting documents internally consistent with each other?
Is your written statement consistent with your testimony?
Is your claim detailed enough? Were there addresses, dates, names on every possible instance in your claim?
Maybe your initial claim had simply a month, but not a specific date.
Maybe your initial claim had simply a city, but not a specific address.
Maybe you did not specify how far the hospital is from the place you were persecuted. Or where it is located in the first place.
What is the name of the doctor?
Or how far and where was the police station is from where you were persecuted?
Any many others.
So take this as an opportunity for you to be more thorough in your claim. An opportunity to present it better, with more details and specifics. Asylum law is complex, with may issues and elements involved, aside from simply fearing returning home.
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