November 3, 2018

On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed a 2014 decision by the Department of Justice granting asylum to a Guatemalan woman based on the severe domestic violence she suffered in her home country, thus rescinding asylum protections for victims of domestic violence. While an immigration review board had determined that the woman was deserving of protection since she was unable to escape her abuser and Guatemalan police refused to interfere in her marriage, Sessions claimed the woman failed to demonstrate membership in a “particular social group.”

The Attorney General concluded that the woman failed to meet the standards necessary for victims of “private criminal activity.” Sessions’ decision now applies to all victims of domestic violence seeking asylum protection in the United States.

If you or a loved one are seeking asylum protection in Connecticut, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. Kevin E. Dehghani is an experienced Connecticut immigration lawyer who can review your case and discuss your legal options when you call (203) 773-9513 to schedule an initial consultation.

Asylum Processes in the United States

An individual who is seeking asylum in the United States has two ways to apply for asylum: affirmative asylum processing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or defensive asylum processing with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The critical differences between these two processes are outlined in a chart on the USCIS website, but both procedures require the individual seeking asylum to be present in the United States.

With affirmative asylum, an individual is required to apply within one year of his or her last arrival in the United States. People who fail to apply within one year will be barred from receiving asylum.

An application for asylum through the affirmative asylum process requires the submission of a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. If the asylum application is not granted and the applicant does not have legal immigration status, USCIS will issue a Form I-862, Notice to Appear and forward the case to an immigration judge at the EOIR for removal proceedings.

A person who is not granted affirmative asylum may still renew a request for asylum through the defensive asylum process. An asylum proceeding is considered defensive when the person is in removal proceedings with the EOIR.

Besides being determined to be ineligible for asylum following an affirmative asylum process, the other way that a person ends up in a defensive asylum proceeding is when he or she has been placed in removal proceedings because he or she was either apprehended by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) attempting to enter the country without proper documentation or caught in the United States or at a port of entry without appropriate legal documents or in violation of his or her immigration status.

Immigration Attorney in Connecticut

Are you or a loved one seeking asylum in Connecticut? The New Haven immigration attorneys at Dehghani & Associates LLC can help you navigate the often complicated immigration process.

Kevin E. Dehghani is a member of the Connecticut Bar, the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, as well as many other prominent legal organizations. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (203) 773-9513 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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