Refugees and the Republican Party Platform

by Jason Dzubow on July 20, 2016

The Republican Party Platform is finally here (yippee!). While the document does not bind either the party or its candidate, it does tell us something about Republican thinking on a wide variety of topics. Two paragraphs in the 54-page Platform cover asylum and refugee issues, and I want to discuss those here.

The RNC Platform would block "the gays" from receiving asylum in the U.S. It would also make it easier for them to get asylum FROM the U.S.

The RNC Platform would block “the gays” from receiving asylum in the U.S. It would also make it easier for them to get asylum FROM the U.S.

Interestingly, the Platform itself does not call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” However, it does view asylum through the prism of national security, and it does place extra scrutiny on people coming from “regions associated with Islamic terrorism.”

The first paragraph of interest (found on page 26 of the Platform) reconfirms America’s commitment to assisting refugees, but with a few caveats–

From its beginning, our country has been a haven of refuge and asylum. That should continue — but with major changes. Asylum should be limited to cases of political, ethnic or religious persecution. As the Director of the FBI has noted, it is not possible to vet fully all potential refugees. To ensure our national security, refugees who cannot be carefully vetted cannot be admitted to the country, especially those whose homelands have been the breeding grounds for terrorism.

I take issue with a few points here. First, the Platform seeks to limit asylum to people who face “political, ethnic or religious persecution.” Under our current law, a person can qualify for asylum if she fears persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or particular social group. Presumably, “ethnic” persecution in the Platform refers to persecution on account of race or nationality under existing law, which means that four of the five protected categories are covered in the RNC document.

Conspicuously absent from the Platform’s language, however, is protection for people who are members of a “particular social group.” This omission is significant for a few reasons. First, it contravenes our treaty obligations (we are signatories to the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, which covers all five protected categories). If we seek to modify our obligations under the treaty, other countries may follow suit. This would have an unfortunate ripple effect on refugee protection throughout the world. It would also downgrade our leadership role with regards to refugee resettlement, and may signal a withdrawal of our leadership in world affairs more generally.

Second, the change would mean that we no longer offer refuge to many people who we now protect. Those who fear persecution on account of sexual orientation, female genital mutilation, and domestic violence are some prime examples of people we protect because they are members of a particular social group (“PSG”). Indeed, those refugees most affected by this change would be women and sexual minorities. I suppose this is consistent with the rest of the RNC Platform, which–to say the least–is not all that friendly towards women or LGBT individuals.

Third, eliminating PSG as a protected category would effectively end any possibility for relief for the unaccompanied minors who have been arriving at our Southern border in large numbers since about 2012. Most of these young people are fleeing violence in Central America. They already have a difficult time obtaining protection in the U.S., but if the PSG category were eliminated, the likelihood that any of them could obtain asylum would become virtually nil.

The second paragraph in the RNC Platform related to refugees appears on page 42 of the document–

[We] cannot ignore the reality that border security is a national security issue, and that our nation’s immigration and refugee policies are placing Americans at risk. To keep our people safe, we must secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and properly screen refugees and other immigrants entering from any country. In particular we must apply special scrutiny to those foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States from terror-sponsoring countries or from regions associated with Islamic terrorism. This was done successfully after September 11, 2001, under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which should be renewed now.

I take issue with a number of points in this paragraph, but here I will discuss only those related to refugees. First, the paragraph echos Donald Trump, who has claimed that we don’t know where these refugees come from, or who they are. This is utterly false. In truth, we know far more about the refugees who come here than we know about other categories of immigrants or non-immigrant visitors. Refugees are subject to intensive screenings and multiple background checks. Indeed, we probably know more about the refugees (and immigrants) entering our country than we know about our own citizens, and most studies show that such people are less likely to commit crimes than the native born.

I also disagree with the Platform’s plan to re-start the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (“NSEERS”), which was suspended in 2011. Under NSEERS, men and boys from many Arab and Muslim countries were required to specially register with the U.S. government. The confusing system led to great difficulty for many of these people (and their families), but resulted in no terrorism-related convictions. In other words, there is basically no evidence that NSEERS made us any safer, but there is plenty of evidence that it harmed innocent people who happened to be from Arab or Muslim countries.

Finally, there is one point in the Platform that I agree with: We must continue to screen refugees and others who come to our country from regions that produce terrorists (and from everywhere else as well). Of course, we already do this, and I don’t think there is anyone in American who thinks we should do otherwise. The RNC’s implied accusation here is that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been letting un-vetted refugees enter our country. That is a lie, and anyone who follows the painfully-slow process of refugee admissions knows it.

What little the RNC has to say in its Platform is not good for refugees, and it is especially bad for refugees who happen to be women, children, LGBT individuals or Muslims. If there is a silver lining here, I suppose it is that the Platform devotes only two paragraphs to refugee issues. These days, when it comes to Republicans and refugees, the less said, the better.

{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

JF January 25, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hi Jason, thanks alot for the article, I have a question, I filed asylum in NY and I had my interview few months back but till now i did not receive any response from the immigration office, with Trump onboard and most likely going to issue the executive order for immigration restrictions, do you think this will affect the approval from my case?

please excuse me if this question already posted before.

Appreciate your feedback.

Thank you.
JF

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Jason Dzubow January 26, 2017 at 7:05 am

I have not seen anything from Trump yet that would affect a pending asylum case, but we do not know what is to come. If you want, you can contact the asylum office to follow up on your case. You can find the Asylum Office contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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TJ November 29, 2016 at 2:40 am

Hi Jason,

Thank for all your explanations !
I am from China.
I was granted asylum based on the membership of particular social group by IJ in April 2016, and I am an asylee now.
My lawyer says I can apply for the green card in April 2017.
Since Trump is the president now, I am worried about my green card.
Is it possible that Trump will stop asylee from applying for green card ?
Is it possible that I have to wait for many years after I submit the green card application ?
Is it possible to change the asylum law to revoke my asylee status ?

Thank you so much and good night !

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2016 at 7:24 am

It is very doubtful that you could lose your asylum status due to a change in the law – I would not worry about that. Trump could make it slower for asylees to get green cards (it used to be slower in the past), but I have not heard about this as a proposal. I think you will be fine. Take care, Jason

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TJ December 7, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Thank you so much for your explanation ~

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Joseph November 16, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Thanks Jason for the information you have provided. I was granted asylum a few years ago by an Immigration Judge here. When I applied to register as permenant resident my application was put on hold becuase of material support bar of the Immigration law. From the last e mail I got from the Immigration it seems that my appliction will be on hold until there is a waver granted. Right now I am not very hopeful that the Trump’s adminstration may grant such a waver in foreseeable future.
Can the adminstation revoke my asylum status adminstatvely without a due process ?
Will I be able to seek asylum from Trump’s adminstration in Canada?
Under existing treating obligation Canada may not grant me asylum. However, as the new adminstation will probably fulfill its campaign promises of making life of muslim immigrant difficult. I would appreciate if you could provide some information inthis regards.

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Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm

There is a process to terminate asylum, and I believe that is written into the statute (passed by Congress) as opposed to the regulation (issued by the DHS), and that means it is difficult to change and you would be entitled to due process. Whether you can seek asylum in Canada, I do not know, but as long as you have asylum here, you are probably ineligible to get asylum in Canada (check with a Canadian lawyer to be sure). Depending how bad things get for Muslims here, maybe it could become a possibility, but my hope is that things will not go that far, and I think it is unlikely that they will. But of course, it is a cause for concern. Take care, Jason

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Mano November 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Hello Jason,

I have a question I need your help if you can please: I am here on a pending asylum status and and I am still having my USA B1/B2 visa valid for other 7 years; however I want to get married to a Canadian citizen, so do you think Canada will issue me an eTA(eletronic travel authorization) or any other authorization to join my wife-to-be in Canada with the status I have here? Have you ever came across a case like this of mine? if it is possible what do I need to have ready with? I am sorry this question might be answered by the canadian authorities but I know you have great ideas and that’s why I also ask you to help with your ideas.

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Jason Dzubow November 3, 2016 at 6:22 am

I do not know about this – you would need to talk to a lawyer who does Canadian immigration law. Take care, Jason

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SS August 16, 2016 at 3:34 am

Dear Jason,
I applied for asylum in USA recently how much time it will take me to get my family in US (as they are still in my home country).
Thanks
TC

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Jason Dzubow August 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm

If you win your asylum case, which can take a few years (see the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right), then you can file for your spouse and minor, unmarried children using form I-730. After you win your case, it might take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to bring family members to the US. Take care, Jason

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Umair August 11, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Hi Jason
I came in usa on visitor visa I applied for asylum in may 2016 in newyork asylum office and after 2 months applying I file for change of address but it was not a big change from one building to another in the same city my asylum office remain same even my zip code remain same what do u think will this change of address stop my asylum clock ??
And my second question is how long they take to send the letter of confirming the change of address because my attorney send it through fax and it’s like a month I didn’t get it.I call the ny asylum office they told me if u send us through fax it vl b faster for us to change it.but I didn’t get it yet.plz answer me I m really depress.

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Jason Dzubow August 14, 2016 at 9:18 am

The move should not affect your asylum clock. They will not send you a confirmation that the address has been changed, at least they do not do that in my local office. In the worst case, if you want to be completely safe, you can go in-person to the asylum office to ask whether they have the new address. You might try emailing them first. Email info and office hours can be found if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Umair August 14, 2016 at 10:23 am

Thank u Jason

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Umair August 19, 2016 at 12:36 pm

As u said Jason I went to asylum office to check they change address or not and the fax didn’t work address was not changed then they gave me a form I filled it and they change it overthere in a minute.And they said it vl not affect my asylum clock bcoz u r not changing state and they said v do not send any confirmation letter for the change of address as u said.
Thank u Jason.U r a big hope for all of us.

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Good to hear that – I am happy I am correct once in a while. Take care, Jason

ana August 4, 2016 at 8:07 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for the post.
My family has an asylum case pending, we came here on visitors visa but mine hasn’t expired yet. Maybe this is a weird question, but is it possible for me to leave America and be able to come back since I’m not the initial applicant but my father is?

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Jason Dzubow August 5, 2016 at 6:28 am

You could try, but you take a risk that you will be detained at the airport at the time of entry into the US. You are safer to apply for Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov), which will give you a travel document so you can re-enter without a problem. I have had clients do what you propose, but there is a risk of detention because they will think you plan to violate your visa by remaining in the US longer than the visa allows. Take care, Jason

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XY August 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Hi, hope everyone is fine and doing well.
As I wrote in my earlier comment, I applied for EAD renewal in San Francisco.
I got approved in less than a month, today the application status changed to application approved. Hope I will get the card soon. I was depressed because my initial EAD is going to expire on 13-Aug , I was at risk to loss my job, but luckily I got approved before the initial EAD expired. 🙂

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Jason Dzubow August 5, 2016 at 6:23 am

Sometimes, it takes a week or two to receive the card, but hopefully you will have it before August 13, and even if it is a bit later, there should be only a very short period of time without the EAD, so that is good news. Take care, Jason

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XY August 12, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Thank you Jason!
I received the card today, a day before expiring my initial EAD.

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Jason Dzubow August 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

Great news – Congrats!

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Lover us July 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm

I don’t think the case in court I haven’t got an interview yet
I really don’t know, I applied again for the third time it hast been over 4 moths and the case of EAD has been moved or transferred to 2 office as am in VA office.

Do you think I moved my case to NYC as they interview people from September 2014 and I applied in jan 2015
Will that help or I’ll just stay in VA office thanks so much

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Jason Dzubow July 29, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Moving the case may cause some delay, and my feeling it is not really worthwhile to move in order to get a better asylum office. In terms of grant rates, Virginia is probably better. Take care, Jason

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Rita July 28, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Hi Jason,
I moved temperoray to another state but I didn’t change my address as this is temperoray job and I didn’t need my work permit to be delayed. But the state I worked in temperoray is having a state tax. I keep all my papers to my fist address where I filed my case first, the driving license, bank statement even my tax is filed to this address. Can paying a state tax where I am working can cause a problem?
Can I ask my employer to give me a sponsorship while I am an asylum applicant? Do you think it will be faster or more guaranteed than the asylum?

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Jason Dzubow July 28, 2016 at 8:05 pm

As to the first question, there is no formula. If USCIS thinks you are lying about your address, it could negatively affect your case. It sounds like you have a lot of attachments to the “permanent” address, so you can probably make a case that you only moved temporarily. As to employer sponsorship, I do not know whether you would be eligible for that or not, or whether you might have to leave the US to collect your green card (which can be problematic). You should talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case and your eligibility before you start the (expensive) employment-based sponsorship process. Take care, Jason

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samer July 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you so much for your advice. I have filled for asylum at Chicago Office in November 2014 and I applied with my wife on March 28 , 2016 for second EAD card renew before 120 days of EAD expiration. In previous days I asked you if I can fill AR-11 Form for address change by myself due to high charging of AR-11 Form by my lawyer and you advised me to fill it online or send it by mail and file a copy with my local asylum office . so I filled it online and I got confirmation by email from Nebraska Service Center that they updated my address in their electronic system with the information I submitted in my request.
after four month of waiting for renew EAD, I received yesterday another alert by email that they mailed me new EAD card to the address I gave them .

My question: is the online updated address from Nebraska Service Center will be forwarded to my local asylum office in Chicago, or I should send them a copy of AR-11 by mail .
Also, should I send a copy of AR-11 to my lawyer or it is enough to inform him that I updated my address online.
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow July 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I would send the form to your lawyer and to the local asylum office. That would be safest. Take care, Jason

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samer July 28, 2016 at 12:19 am

Thank you

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Fraustation July 27, 2016 at 9:58 am

Terrorism and chaos is what produces refugees. If they deny refuge to people running away from them, what good is the system itself? We welcome refugees but not from the regions where people are uncertain about their life the very next minute? Why not shut the whole refugee system altogether? Who will even need or qualify for asylum after that?
May be some.

I was granted asylum recently by the IJ based upon the membership of particular social group. I will not be eligible to apply for PR until next president assumes office. Is there a reason for me to be concerned? I assume I do not come from their list of “certain countries” but I was granted based upon social membership. Should I be concerned personally about the trump presidency? Shortly and briefly After feeling the freedom and protection this great country provided me, I am already in the panic mode asking myself what’s next.

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Jason Dzubow July 27, 2016 at 4:28 pm

I think you do not need to be concerned. If he wins, it would require major changes in the law to change your status now, and I cannot see that happening very quickly. Potentially, he could impact your ability to get the green card or citizenship down the road, but even that seems unlikely. The current law has given you protection, and it is very difficult to un-do that. Take care, Jason

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Alex July 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Hi dear jason
I came to Us with 6 month visit visa tehn filed my asylum on may 2014 and got approved on 12-2015 and later 3-2016 got my travel document do you think if i travel out of Us not to my home country will i face difficulty at return to USA ?

Highly appreciate you attention thank you

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Jason Dzubow July 26, 2016 at 4:47 pm

As long as your Refugee Travel Document is current (not expired), you should be fine. Take care, Jason

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Sara July 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

Hello Alex,
I was wondering which office interviewed you? You are lucky because your whole experience went fast!
Goodluck

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Ig July 28, 2016 at 10:35 am

Hi Sarah,
I’m not Alex, but will try to explain how the scheduling used to work. Before December 29th 2014 all asylum offices were scheduling interviews kind of randomly, around 60% of petitioners would get their interviews done within 6 monthes, another 40% would get backlogged. After the 29th all offices schedule interviews in chronological order( in which they were received) starting from the older ones. Jason wrote about that too.

Take care,

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Farid July 26, 2016 at 1:20 am

Hi Jason,
I have applied for asylum in Nov 2012 in Los Angeles and I’m still waiting for my interview. I had no problem getting my EAD and renewing it. but last time because USCIS some how changed my address in their system without me requesting it I didn’t get my EAD on time and it expired and I lost my job about a month ago. still waiting for EAD. I wanted to know if I can do anything to get my interview expedited or get a EAD faster.
Thank you.

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Sarah July 26, 2016 at 3:06 am

wow, LA office seems the worse for timing of interview and the wait seems the longest. That’s too bad… sorry!

If you move to northern california (SF), your interview will happen very soon? USCIS shows ppl who filed in SF by July 2014 had their interviews recently (June 2016).

Not sure if you change address (from LA to SF or other places in east coast for example) then you have to apply again or you just will be put in the line according to the first time you applied.

Any comments, Jason? 🙂

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Jason Dzubow July 26, 2016 at 4:45 pm

According to USCIS, if you move, you keep your place in the queue, so that might mean a sooner interview. I am not 100% confident they always do that, but maybe if you contact the old office (to make sure the case was transferred) and the new office (to make sure you are still in line), it might work. Hopefully. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow July 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm

We have not had much luck expediting the EAD, but you can try – you can call the 1-800 number on the USCIS website and ask (www.uscis.gov). As for the delayed asylum case, I wrote about that on February 26, 2015. Maybe that posting would be helpful to you. Take care, Jason

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Sarah July 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

My EAD card first time was taking too long (~ 50 days); so I emailed Ombudsman office and they emailed me a couple of days later and asked for evidence (financial hardship); then they told me they will follow up on that, but before they do USCIS updated my case and sent me th card; I got anotehr email from Ombudsman office saying that they had seen my case was already approved before they doing anything for me (the whole thing took about 10 days)

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Jason Dzubow July 27, 2016 at 6:24 am

That’s good, though in my experience, if they need to intervene, it takes several months. Maybe they are faster than I realize. Take care, Jason

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Rus July 25, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Hello Jason

You mentioned before that it is possible to file the supporting documents later, after I filed a form I589. My I589 was sent to the Vermont Service Center and now, as I understand, need to send the supporting documents to my local USCIS office, which is New York. Could you shed a bit more light on how can I get the NY office local rules which guide how and when to file supporting documents? Thank you Jason.

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm

The best I can tell you is to look at their website, which can find if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. If you do not see what you need, you can email them (and if you are lucky, they will respond) or you can go in person to ask. In our local office (Virginia), you are supposed to submit the documents at least one week before the interview. My guess is that most offices have a similar rule, but I do not know off hand, so it is best to check. Take care, Jason

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XY July 25, 2016 at 5:14 am

Hi Jason
Hope you are fine and doing well.
Filled asylum application San francisco: feb-09-2015
Got EAD: Aug-12-2015 ( within a month)
Applied for renewal: june-18-2016
Fee waiver approved july- 04-2016
Still EAD is in process, hope I will get the new one before the expiration date of the current EAD. I applied a little late for EAD renewal ( two months before the expiration date). I think its a good idea to apply 4 months before the EAD expiration date to get it before the expiration date of the previous EAD.
I wrote it just to give the blog followers a helpful idea and information, since everyone is frustrated during their asylum process.

I am 25 yo, from Afghanistan, I moved to USA almost two years ago.
I think now a days I am pretty hopeless and kinda mentally sick, each and everyday I think about my asylum results under the presidency of TRUMP. I have a strong political case with many clear evidence of threat by Taliban. I was a social activist and gov agency employee back in my country.
I hope I will get my asylum interview before TRUMP presidency, according to asylum scheduling chart of USCIS, but still in case if my interview schedules during the first days of TRUMP presidency, what do you think how the USCIS will deal with me? Since I have clear background, strong case but according to TRUMP I am a threat to US national security, just because I am muslim.
Thank u for your hard work on blog, will never forget it. If USA has a TRUMP, it has Jasons too. Love and respect.

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I July 25, 2016 at 9:22 am

Thanks for sharing your timeline.
I-589 filed SF Asylum Office – 04/2015
Initial EAD filed – 08/2015, over 3 months in processing !!
Renewal EAD and I-912 fee waiver – 1.5 week ago and no receipt yet.
I’m from Uzbekistan and have the same fear of my case being conducted under Drumpf administration.
Good Luck!

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm

I do not know how Trump would affect the asylum process, or how fast the changes would go into effect. To actually change the asylum process for a case like yours, Congress would have to pass a new law, and I think the likelihood of him winning the presidency and Congress is not so high (I hope). Also, of course, people like you are the ones who are fighting alongside the US to try to make countries like Afghanistan more friendly to the West and less beholden to extremists. That makes Trump’s policies counter productive. Anyway, I hope he will not win, but if he does, you and I may both be looking for a better place. Take care, Jason

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Sameer July 24, 2016 at 1:47 am

Hi Jason,

I have filed for asylum in August 2014 in the state of Virginia. Since they are processing for those who have filed in January 2014, my interview could take another year. My driver’s license and bank statement still have and will have address of Virginia in the future.

I have an opportunity to accept 6-12 months out-of-state contract job. Will the asylum office investigate our tax records or where we might have worked? I do not want to change the address and delay my interview since I have already waited for 2 years. And I have to earn some income to survive.

Thank you very much.

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Zac July 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

As long as you are in in the process of affirmative Asylum it does not matter if you move out to another state. and changing your address is not cause any delay in your interview, and you have to inform them of any change your address because this is the way the will contact you to inform you with your interview date, good luck

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 9:49 pm

I agree – but only if he gives up the old address. If he keeps the old address and moves somewhere for a few months, I think he can avoid filing the change of address, but this is a judgment call. Different lawyers might look at it differently, and it never hurts (except in the wallet) to get advice from a lawyer who understands all the specifics of the case. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 9:44 pm

If you keep your VA license and address, pay taxes in VA, and return to VA, I think you can legitimately say that your permanent address is VA, even though you had a temporary job somewhere else. As long as the asylum office does not think you are lying about your address, you should be ok. You will have to tell them where you worked, but if you have this evidence about your residency in VA (license, lease, taxes, etc), I doubt they will think you are lying. That said, sometimes, they can be jerks about this stuff, and if you are worried, talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case. But based on what you say here, I doubt you will have a problem. Take care, Jason

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Sameer July 26, 2016 at 2:19 am

Thank you Jason. Taking time to answer my question from your busy schedule when you could be making more fees as a lawyer, says something about you. You will be remembered by many.

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Jason Dzubow July 26, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Thank you, though of course, I do like to make the money now and again…

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lover us July 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

hi if i may ask you this i don;t know if its the right to ask
i worked with someone without EAD as the uscis declined my card 2 times, and this guy took advantage of me i had some saving and he took it and promises me to give it back after 1 year now nothing he wont even answer my phone, as i worked for him as cheap as i can and at some point he wont pay me when i left him he wont give me anything back to live on if i were to go to court will i get in trouble ??
thank you

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Immigration Lawyer July 23, 2016 at 10:07 pm

lover us…..your rambling does not make sense. Go get a job.

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Sarah July 24, 2016 at 1:39 am

Immigration Lawyer:

I’m sorry to intrude, but if you do not understand what this guy says, why do you even comment and being rude and insensitive to him? The guy is already desperate and in stress and doesn’t need your nasty opinion. I don’t get what you have to be this mean? What do you achieve?

To Lover US:

I am no lawyer, but I think by going to court against this guy you MIGHT be successful in getting your money BUT you will probbaly get in trouble for working without official permission and might get deported or endanger your immigration process.
I hope Jason or someone else who knows the laws give you a better answer. I’m sorry this guy took advantage of your situation and made you work for him but didn’t pay you back.

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Unfortunately, for people who are out of status, it is easy to take advantage of them, and it happens quite frequently. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 5:45 am

You do have a right to sue him in court to get your money. Whether you will have a problem as a result of that, I do not know, as it depends on your current immigration status, and on the state where you live (different states and localities have different policies about reporting people without immigration status). Probably, you would need to talk to a lawyer to help you with the lawsuit, and he or she might have an idea about whether there is any risk to you. Take care, Jason

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Sarah July 26, 2016 at 3:14 am

BTW,

Lover US,

why did USCIS decline your EAD card twice? Did you make a mistake in filling the forms? did you give the a wrong fee, wrong address or sth? I haven’t heard of them denying EAD cards….

Your English doesn’t seem very well, maybe you made a mistake in filling the forms?

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lover us July 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm

thanks for the reply.

the decline the EAD card because i moved my case before the 150 days without knowing this will happen until now.
They just keep saying that i caused delay to my case therefore the clock has stooped, it will not start until i get an interview

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Jason Dzubow July 26, 2016 at 4:47 pm

If your case is with the Asylum Office, this should not happen any more (if your case is in court, it is a different story). You can contact the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right) and ask them to help you. It might work, as USCIS is not supposed to stop the clock when a case moves from one asylum office to another. Take care, Jason

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Lover us July 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I don’t think the case in court I haven’t got an interview yet
I really don’t know, I applied again for the third time it hast been over 4 moths and the case of EAD has been moved or transferred to 2 office as am in VA office.

Do you think I moved my case to NYC as they interview people from September 2014 and I applied in jan 2015
Will that help or I’ll just stay in VA office thanks so much

Mamod July 22, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Hello Jason,

Thank for all the effort you put in this site it has been really helpful.

I have one question, i am doing a petition to bring my wife and child here after i have been granted asylum here in USA, we are from Iraq and currently my wife and child is there but she needs to travel to Iran for medical reasons, will that effect the process of bringing them here to USA and cause problems?

Regards,
Mamod

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Jason Dzubow July 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

I doubt it, as long as she processes the case in Iraq. She may be able to process in Iran, but I do not know about that. If she is just going to Iran for treatment and then returning, I doubt it will cause any trouble. Take care, Jason

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Zac July 21, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Nice topic Jason, but there is something strange, why they are so strict with immigrant people who want to come to U.S through refugee program but if you want to come to U.S in any other way (marriage, work, study, ect) you are not subjected to all these security checking even If you are coming from terror-sponsoring countries.

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Jason Dzubow July 22, 2016 at 9:20 am

Very good question. It makes no sense. I could understand this if hundreds of thousands of people were coming to our country (like in Europe), but it makes no sense here, where the number of refugees is few, and they are carefully screened. My opinion is that they are demonizing refugees in order to win votes. And that is a disgrace. Take care, Jason

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Immigration Lawyer July 23, 2016 at 10:14 pm

C’mon Jason,
Get off the soap box. There are a lot of shitty refugees in this country despite the vetting. From 2003 thru 2013 about 713 vetted refugees have been deported for committing aggravated felonies, including but not limited to assaults, sex crimes, drug crimes and homicides. No one is demonizing these people.

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Sarah July 24, 2016 at 2:44 am

To immigration lawyer:

Are you really an immigration lawyer or a racist? Do you understand math?
Do you get that 713 in 10 years means less that 80 person per year? and in fiscal year (FY) 2015, the United States resettled 69,933 refugees and in FY 2013 granted asylum status to 25,199 people.
So if you even look at ONE YEAR (2013) this number is less than 0.3%.
On the other hand 2014 FBI report in US by EVERYONE in the USA (and not only refugees) says: “There were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement.” And 2014 had even less crime than 2013.
So among more than 1 million cases of violent crime, only <100 were by refugees, that means <0.01%. I'd say that's a VERY small number.
I think you'd better change your career from immigration law to other kind of law (or maybe run for presidency as it seems trendy for your kind) because based on your only two comments here you have NO sympathy for immigrants and have NO actual knowledge!

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Shawn July 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Sarah,

It is clearly no Immigration Lawyer. It is nothing but a racist bigot who has been impacted by Donald Trump’s war on immigrants, Mexicans, Latinos, African Americans, women, etc. The title Immigration Lawyer should psychologically deflect from the Xenophobia and racism being spewed by the poltergeist, who hides behind a computer screen and makes racist and xenophobic comments. What is troubling is that they consider themselves Christians and conservatives. “Immigration Lawyer”, this blog is for people who are fleeing their countries of origin because they fear for their lives. I am sure Jason,the owner of the blog, and everyone else who depends on the blog for consequential information and advice, would agree with me that we don’t need any more hate or toxicity. Some of us are too used to it and are trying to cleanse this poison from our systems. Please do us a favor and leave. We don’t need your advice.

Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm

“maybe run for presidency as it seems trendy for your kind”. I must admit, I thought that was funny.

Sarah July 25, 2016 at 10:08 pm

LOL

Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Assuming your stats are correct, that is 713 out of how many? Probably 400 or 500,000. And since anything more than jaywalking is now an ag felony, I don’t find your argument all that convincing. These are refugees we are talking about – many of whom have been traumatized. This means that they have issues, and sometimes people with issues do bad things. I would not throw out all refugees because less than 0.2% of them committed crimes. By that logic, anyone who commits any crime should stay in jail forever – prior criminal conduct being the best predictor of future criminal conduct and all that. Take care, Jason

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Joker July 28, 2016 at 11:19 am

“Anything more than jaywalking is now an ag felony”.

Come on, you practice in the 4th Circuit. Right of the top of my head, the following crimes are not aggravated felonies:

1) Grand Larceny (VA/DC/MD) – not a theft offense
2) Trafficking in Stolen Goods (federal) – not “receipt of stolen good”
3) Nearly every criminal burglary statute.
4) Unlawful/malicious wounding…on that note, aren’t we about to throw out 16b for vagueness…so virtually any assault conviction?

Federal courts have afforded ample protections for criminal aliens in immigration proceedings, and the laundry list in 101(a)(43) is not nearly as comprehensive in practice than it looks on paper. I agree with the argument that serious criminal offenders make up a small portion of the immigrant population of the United States and we should definitely not judge the community in general by its worst elements, but if you’re implying that the criminal provisions of the INA, as actually applied and interpreted by courts, skew against immigrants in general, I think a better discussion is needed. I also think that a layperson, even one who supports increased immigration to the United States, would find the Act overly restrictive on this front.

Finally, while I disagree with “Immigration Lawyer” up top, I can’t see how he can be fairly labelled a racist based on the content of his post.

Abdul July 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Hi Jason. thanks for your help

A quick question. if I have additional documents to send to asylum office, can I send them by email or it need to be hard copies by mail. and if by mail, how many copies of the same documents shall I submit?

really appreciate your help
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow July 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

You probably should not send them by email (maybe you can do that if you ask them first). We always deliver documents in person or by mail. We send 1 original and 1 copy. Take care, Jason

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Abdul July 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Thanks a lot Jason. always prompt and helpful 🙂

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patti lyman July 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Jason, NSEERS in the post-9/11 environment actually caused many to voluntarily depart the U.S. if they could not make a case for status here. That is not a bad thing, though like you I spent hours with harmless clients in waiting rooms in the 2002-2003 timeframe and it was inconvenient for them to have to go through the process of ascertaining they were in fact harmless. I think the main change the RNC platform reflects is a move to assess admission to the US based NOT on convenience of the alien, but of the value they bring to America and, in the case of asylum/refugee applicants, a certainty that they pose no threat to existing U.S. population. Also, the discussion about not knowing who the refugees are has never been in the context of those who enter the U.S. and go through the asylum office process, which you and I know is quite the rectal exam. Rather, it refers to the liberal proposals to wholesale import “refugees” from Islamic countries and forcibly resettle them across the U.S. in cities not at all prepared to receive them. Hillary Clinton is talking about over 500% increase in intake, and you and I both know that those pushed in by the tens of thousands will not go through what our asylum clients go through. People take a look at the “refugees” crashing the non-existent borders into Germany, Sweden, France etc. and they’re afraid for their communities if care is not taken about who is admitted. That’s a completely legitimate fear, and those who feel it are not confined to racists and xenophobes. Also, re: PSG, any changes would have to go through Congress, and I have no doubt that PSG will remain as one of the five nexus categories. This situation is completely out of control and must be addressed in a decisive way. Best to you, my friend!

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Jason Dzubow July 21, 2016 at 6:42 am

Thank you, as always. A few points: (1) The executive branch could change how PSG is defined (subject to court approval, but the courts are quite deferential), though of course Congress would have to act to eliminate PSG as a protected category, and I agree that this is unlikely; (2) I think refugees do go through am extensive background check and even the 10,000 Syrians that Obama wanted to bring are still mostly not here because of the background checks (I think about 3,500 are here now); (3) Refugees are better vetted than students and B visitors (for example, the 9-11 terrorists came here mostly on B visas, and I think there was one F visa), and most of our clients (or at least mine) come here on B, F or J visas. Therefore, my guess is that at the beginning of their time in the US, refugees are better vetted than my clients. By the end of the process (if this process can be said to have an end), my clients are vetted equal to, or more than refugees. I do not think we are in danger of a mass migration like we see in Europe, at least not from Middle Easterners, and so I do not think that it is a realistic concern that we will see such large numbers of people from the Middle East. Of course, it is legitimate to worry about who we are letting in, whether they might be terrorists, gang members or other bad people, but I do not see how it makes sense to single out refugees here, given the vetting process (what happens at our Southern border is another story…). Anyway, I hope all is well, Jason

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Michael Kershow July 21, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for covering this issue, Jason. If the general public were more aware of the number of people already here from “terror-sponsoring countries” who have applied for TPS and asylum (or are simply here as B overstays), I think the hysteria over bringing in a few more Syrian refugees would pale by comparison. And frankly, the system is ass backwards. To use Patti’s analogy, it depends on where the rectal exam is administered. As you properly note, it is one thing to bring in refugees after they have been fully vetted abroad; it is another to vet them only at the end of an asylum process that is today interminable. Not only is that terribly unfair to our clients, but it is useless from a security standpoint.

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Jason Dzubow July 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm

It is utterly useless. Unless it takes 5 1/2 years to plan a terrorist attack. Though I suppose in the government’s defense, these people have been screened before they were issued visas (or before they were released after being detained at the border), but of course that begs the question: What are they actually checking during the interminable post-interview security checks? Take care, Jason

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Sarah July 20, 2016 at 1:47 pm

okay my third comment here; a while back you had talked about expedited interview for asylum and said this: “We’ve also had luck expediting a case where the client needed to obtain status for professional reasons.”

Can you explain a bit more what kind of professional reason? I was wondering how/what type a “professional reason” can expedite the interview.

Thanks again,

Sarah

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Jason Dzubow July 21, 2016 at 6:25 am

For example, if you have an employer who says, I want to send you to an important conference overseas, but you cannot travel until the case is resolved. Or if you cannot get licensed in your profession without status. You can give any reason, but the asylum office is more likely to accept your request to expedite if your reason is compelling. Take care, Jason

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Sarah July 24, 2016 at 1:42 am

Thanks 🙂

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Sarah July 24, 2016 at 1:43 am

I was thinking, I can register in one of important conference/workshops abroad and get a support letter from my boss (university professor) saying the importance of this conference in my professional advancement. This wouldn’t be a lie really, I have missed several great opportunities due to my immigration process and I was thinking maybe I can use that as a basis to expedite my interview.

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Jason Dzubow July 25, 2016 at 9:41 pm

You can try. The expedite process is pretty random, and if you apply for it, even if you have a weak reason, your case may be expedited. Do not lie about the situation, however, as that could cause other problems. Take care, Jason

Sarah July 25, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I won’t lie as I mentioned…

Sarah July 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

The other thing one might be able to argue that that being an LGBT person from a muslim country (e.g. Iran) can be counted a religious/political case because it is an act against the Islamic rules and against Sharia laws? No?

Sarah

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Jason Dzubow July 21, 2016 at 6:22 am

That is true – it could be argued that the persecutors “impute” (give) a religious belief to the gay person and that they want to harm the person based on the imputed belief (that he is an infidel, for example). Lawyers do this all the time to get around the fact that the protected categories do not always cover our clients’ situations.

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Sarah July 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Hi Jason,

Thank you for the post, very informative. Do you think in case Trump becomes the president based on this platform they are going to stop giving asylum status to LGBT? Even those ppl who have submitted their requests way earlier inside the US and have been waiting for the interview (a.k.a me! 🙂 ); I’ve got very much worried.

A lot of times, the laws are applied based on the time you have submitted your application not based on the new changes occurring in the meantime.

I’d appreciate if you let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Sarah

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Jason Dzubow July 21, 2016 at 6:20 am

There are two things he could do: (1) He could try to change the law to eliminate PSG as a protected category. This would require Congressional action, which takes time. They could implement the change immediately or they could allow people with pending cases to apply under the old law. That would be up to the President and Congress, or (2) He could change the definition of PSG to exclude certain applicants that are not part of the group. This would not require Congressional action, and it could be implemented immediately. Lawyers would resist this change and ultimately, federal courts or the Supreme Court would have to decide whether a particular category of individual – such as LGBT – could be excluded from the PSG category. Given that the President has a lot of authority interpreting immigration laws, I suspect that courts would tend to defer to whatever he does, but it certainly would be a fight. Take care, Jason

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Sarah July 24, 2016 at 1:41 am

Thank you very much for the detailed response.

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Jason Dzubow July 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Feh – I prefer when you agree with me, but I suppose the “jaywalking” comment was a bit of an exaggeration (though the crimes you list are probably deportable offenses – crimes involving moral turpitude). I should probably do a post about asylum and criminal aliens, though. My main issue with crimes and immigration in general is that whether a crime is a deportable offense is not necessarily tied to the crime’s seriousness. Plus, the law is complicated and annoying, but that’s another story. Take care, Jason

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Joker August 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I agree with nearly all the content on this great blog (as it relates to administrative efficiency, effective advocacy for those in need, and an eye towards how the law might need to change in relation to the new needs of migrant communities)! I, I guess like many attorneys, just can’t resist the little jab every now and again. Thanks for providing a good forum for discussion, and I’d be fascinated by a “Crimmigration” discussion.

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Jason Dzubow August 9, 2016 at 6:13 am

The most interesting comments are the “jabs.” I can only answer so many questions about “delayed EADs” and “moving to a new state for 3 months” before I jump off a bridge. But you do remind me to put “crimmigration” post in the queue….

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Jason Dzubow July 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

I think between VA and NY, you are better off in VA, but it’s up to you. I do not think you can predict where you will get the faster interview. I wrote about this on June 7, 2016 – maybe that post would be helpful. Take care, Jason

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