President Trump and the Future of Our Refugee and Asylum Programs

by Jason Dzubow on November 9, 2016

The People have spoken. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. He will enter office with a Republican House and Senate, though not a filibuster-proof majority, but certainly enough to enact much of his legislative/policy agenda. So what can asylum seekers, asylees, and refugees expect?

Sometimes white is a very dark color.

Sometimes white is a very dark color.

Of course, with Mr. Trump, it’s often hard to know his plan. Will he keep his campaign promises to ban Muslims? Return Syrian refugees? Build a wall? Narrow the category of people eligible for asylum (as implied by the Republican Party platform)? Can these policies even be implemented in practice? It’s far too soon to know which direction Mr. Trump will go with all this, but here are some initial thoughts, not so much about what he will do, but about what he has the power to do.

Banning Muslim Immigrants: The U.S. government has the power to block most anyone from coming to the United States. In previous eras, we have excluded Chinese, Southern Europeans, Jews, and all sorts of other “undesirables.” More recently, after 9-11, we enacted Special Registration for people from certain majority-Muslim nations, though this was not a ban on Muslims, just a restriction on those already here.

Also, if you have ever applied for a U.S. visa, you know that the consulates exercise almost unlimited discretion to deny visas to people deemed ineligible. For people overseas seeking a visa, it would be easy for President Trump to deny visas to applicants from majority-Muslim countries, or to those who are Muslim. This could be done even without Congressional action.

The policy implications for such a move would be unpredictable. How would the “banned” countries react? What would this mean for our diplomatic relations with those countries and our ability to cooperate with them against the war on Islamic extremists? There are also economic implications for trade, business investment, and universities that enroll (and make money from) foreign students. I imagine the competing constituencies would weigh in on the efficacy of a Muslim ban, and so it is difficult to know how this would work in practice. But President Trump will basically have the power to block Muslims who are overseas from coming to the United States.

Refugees: This past year, we accepted about 85,000 refugees. Traditionally, the plurality of refugees we accept are Christian, but in FY 2016–for the first time since FY 2006–the plurality (44%) of refugees resettled in the United States were Muslim (the Pew Research Center provides some good data on this subject). This shift reflected President Obama’s response (tepid, in my opinion) to the Syrian refugee crisis. In determining how many refugees to bring to the U.S., the President consults with Congress and comes up with a number. So Mr. Trump could reduce or eliminate the number of refugees coming to the U.S., or he could shift the focus away from Muslim refugees.

Again, there are policy implications for such a move. The world is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II. What does it mean for the character of our nation to ignore the suffering of these individuals? How will our retrenchment affect the efforts of other countries to assist refugees? How will it affect our ability to wield moral authority and to continue our role as the leader of the Free World? Or have we as a nation decided to abdicate that role?

Asylees and Muslim Refugees Who Are Already in the United States: And what about those Syrian refugees (and other refugees and asylees) who are already here and have already been granted refugee status or asylum in the United States? Deporting people who are here, with lawful status, is much more difficult than excluding people from coming here in the first place. Such people have a Constitutional right to due process of law, meaning that they cannot be deported from the U.S. without a legal procedure. Currently, that procedure involves presenting one’s case to an Immigration Judge, who then determines whether the person is eligible to remain in the United States. People who have already qualified for protection under U.S. law (which is based on our ratification of various international treaties) cannot simply be removed from the country. The procedure to remove them is long, and–given that they have already qualified for protection–under current law, they cannot be deported.

For these reasons, although Mr. Trump has vowed to send Syrian refugees back, I suspect that this will not be easily accomplished. First, it would mean a change in the law, and this requires the cooperation of Congress. As mentioned, while the Republicans have a majority of seats in Congress, there is still a powerful Democratic minority that could potentially block such a change. Also, it is likely that a significant minority of Republicans would oppose changing our humanitarian laws.

And even if the law related to asylum were changed, there are several other laws that people currently in the U.S. might use to avoid removal. For example, those who fear harm as defined by the UN Convention Against Torture might assert a defense based on that treaty. Those who have been here for longer periods of time might be eligible for other forms of relief, like Cancellation of Removal or adjustment of status based on a family relationship. In short, people who are living in the U.S. and who have refugee or asylum status have several layers of protection that will likely insulate them from any effort to have them removed. And any effort to make the sweeping changes needed to force such people to leave will require unified Congressional action, something that we are unlikely to see.

Of course, if such changes could somehow be made, there are policy implications here as well. What will it mean to send back Syrian refugees (mostly women and children) to that war torn region? How will it affect our moral standing in the world? What would it mean for international law in general if we abrogate our treaty obligations? And what would be the “ripple effect” of such a policy?

People with Asylum Cases Pending: People who are in the United States with asylum cases pending also have the benefit of due process protections. They cannot be deported unless and until an Immigration Judge determines that they do not qualify to remain in the United States. Under current law, even people from majority-Muslim countries benefit from these protections–which are “rights”–under domestic and international law. To change this regime, Congressional action would be necessary. Again, it is unclear whether President Trump will have the supported needed to enact such sweeping changes in this area of law.

The bigger immediate concern for people with pending asylum cases is how the Trump Administration will allocate resources towards the asylum system. I suspect that resources will be increased for Immigration Courts (which can deport people, but which can also grant relief and allow people to stay here). I am not so optimistic about the Affirmative Asylum System–these are the Asylum Offices that review asylum cases filed by people who are in the U.S. and who fear persecution in their home country. The Affirmative Asylum System is already beleaguered by long delays, and if the new Administration diverts resources from that system, it will only slow the process further. One option for a Trump Administration might be to eliminate the Asylum Offices and send everyone to Immigration Court. How this would play out in terms of delay or efficacy, I do not know.

The Wall and Restrictions on the Definition of Particular Social Group: Finally, Donald Trump has promised to build a wall to prevent people from entering the U.S. through Mexico. This seems to me more a fanciful campaign promise than a realistic or effective means of tightening the border. So I doubt he will build an actual wall. He could however, make it more difficult for people arriving at the Southern border to seek asylum by restricting the definition of those eligible for asylum. Specifically, many people who come to the border seek asylum because they fear persecution by gangs or domestic violence (in legal terms, they are seeking asylum because they fear persecution on account of their “particular social group”). Our current system allows such people to arrive at the border, “pass” a credible fear interview, enter the U.S., and then have their cases adjudicated by an Immigration Judge. If a Trump Administration restricted the definition of particular social group, and raised the bar for credible fear interviews, it could largely shut down the border without resorting to a wall, and probably without violating our treaty obligations.

Again, of course, there are policy concerns here. If relations with Mexico sour, that country could do less to interdict migrants traveling north through it’s territory. That could result in a larger refugee crisis at our border. Also, if our country closes the doors to refugees in our backyard, other countries may follow suit, and the result would be a more severe worldwide refugee crisis, and the likely deaths of many innocent people trying to escape harm.

For now, all this is conjecture. Donald Trump will not assume office for another few months. During that time, he will (presumably) begin to articulate how he will translate his promises into actual policy. Given the campaign we just witnessed, it is difficult not to be pessimistic. However, to paraphrase John Donne, No policy is an island, entire of itself. To implement changes to the humanitarian laws will implicate many other important policy areas. Perhaps–we can hope–this will help mitigate the more radical plans raised prior to the election. Here’s John Donne, once more, “Any man’s death diminishes me / Because I am involved in mankind / And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls / It tolls for thee.” Let’s hope Mr. Trump recognizes the gravity of his proposed changes, and the effect they could have on innocent lives. Let’s hope.

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Ahmed February 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

hello Mr jason this is Ahmed i need to know that i am a asylee and i have done my finger prints process is the policies are the same are changed? after 150days can i apply for the SSN or not? i filed the case on 9 Dece 2016 i am from Pakistan am bit worries please inform me thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:50 am

The policies are the same (and anyway, Pakistan is not a country affected by the executive orders) and you can apply for your work permit 150 days after you filed for asylum. Once you have the work permit, you can get an SSN. Take care, Jason

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Mart February 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Thank you for all your explanation. I have a genuine reason for asylum and just about in my 2nd month in the US. Should I apply for asylum now or wait. What if one lost out in asylum case, what would be his alternative move? Would it affect my marrying to citizen. How long does EAD last before one gets his SSN.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:22 am

You can apply after 2 months. You must apply before 1 year in the US or you may become ineligible. It normally takes 7 to 9 months after filing for asylum before you have the EAD in your hand (you can apply for the EAD 5 months after you file for asylum). After you have the EAD, you can get the SSN. As to your other questions, they are case specific and I do not have enough info to answer. You should talk to a lawyer to get a better idea of how an asylum case might impact you specifically. Take care, Jason

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James February 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I have just spent 3 months in the US on my b1 visa. Can I apply for asylum after just 3 months? What is the implications of losing the case or my asylum been rejected?. Can one reapply after first rejection. If rejected, could it affect one marrying a citizen because of initial denial? And lastly, how long does it take get EAD/SSN Immediately after I applied for asylum. Do pls answer me. Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:21 am

You can apply after 3 months. You must apply before 1 year in the US or you may become ineligible. It normally takes 7 to 9 months after filing for asylum before you have the EAD in your hand (you can apply for the EAD 5 months after you file for asylum). As to your other questions, they are case specific and I do not have enough info to answer. You should talk to a lawyer to get a better idea of how an asylum case might impact you specifically. Take care, Jason

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GABRIEL February 17, 2017 at 1:34 am

HELLO JASON. THANKS FOR THE RELIEF YOU ARE OFFERING. I APPLIED FOR ASYLUM IN 2009 AND I WAS GRANTED WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL BECAUSE I HAD A BAIL JUMPING FELONY. SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN REPORTING TO ICE FOR THE PASS 8 YEARS. IM WORRIED THE NEXT TIME I REPORT. IM NOW MARRIED TO A CITIZEN. WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF STAYING HERE. CAN THEY TRY TO DEPORT ME WITHOUT GOING TO SEE THE JUDGE? SHOULD I GO FOR THE NEXT REPORT? THANKS

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:39 am

You cannot be deported to your country, as you have withholding of removal. If you are a citizen or a resident of another country (which I doubt), you can be deported there. So I doubt that you face any danger by reporting, but if you are not sure, you might want to talk to a lawyer to go over your options (and maybe there is a way to get your status based on the marriage – it is worth talking to the lawyer about that). Take care, Jason

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rabia February 13, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Hi jason,,,,,i m from pakistan ,,i came here 22 of march 2016 with one kid n husband with b2 visa my 2 kids r in pakistan,,,i want to take asylum here but becoz of the current situation i m planning to go to canada n start asylum case there,,,how long the procedure will be here in usa n can i call my 2 kids also during the case,,,,can i apply case in canada

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:20 am

You should talk to a lawyer in Canada before you go there, as we have seen people who tried to go to Canada and got rejected at the border, and then detained in the US. As for the time frame here, you can check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right – to get an idea about the time. It is possible to expedite a case, but that is not easy. If you could get your other children here before you apply for asylum, that would be best. Once you apply, it will be even more difficult for them to get a visa. Probably this is difficult anyway, in which case, if you applied in the US, you would have to try to expedite the case based on family separation. If and when you win, it normally takes between 4 months and year to bring family members to the US. Take care, Jason

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sasha February 12, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Thank you for such a wonderful article. I was from Pakistan but left due to domestic violence. I have applied for asylum but in the wake of uncertainity I was worried. Your article has helped me to understand the protection that still covers me. However…as everything could be expected now a days, my question is, shall i wait for my EAD until 120 days or apply for EAD and SSN as I waited 150 days but the EO came out. What will be your suggestion. Thanking you in anticipation. Sasha

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Jason Dzubow February 13, 2017 at 7:23 am

If it is your first EAD based on a pending asylum case, you must wait 150 days after the I-589 was received before applying for the EAD (you can see when it was received if you check your blue receipt). If it is a renewal of an expiring EAD, you can do that 120 days before it expires. Take care, Jason

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john February 11, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Hey jason, im john from kenya. I have a pending asylum with BIA. Can I be dported before the board makes their decision?

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

You cannot be deported while the BIA case is pending. Take care, Jason

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James February 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Dear Mr. Jason,

My EAD approved ( Pending Asylum ) on 28th Day of my application.

Now, how can I get SSN ?

Is there different forms for SSN ?

Please advise.

Regards
James

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

You can go to your local Social Security Office (you can Google that) with your EAD and they should be able to help you. Take care, Jason

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James February 12, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Thank you Mr. Jason

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Danny February 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Hey . Im from Russia. I got my asylum approval back in 2015 and I already applied for green card.Do I have to worry about my case or I’ll just automatically get it ? please help me

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:31 am

If you applied for the GC and are otherwise eligible, you should get it. How long it will take is not always easy to predict, though. Take care, Jason

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Shahbaz Butt February 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Hi Mr. Jason
I’m from Pakistan and I have a pending asylum case. I applied in June 2014 and I am expecting to hear about interview this year according to tracking bulletin. Is there any chance of this law effecting my case?

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:24 am

As of now, the EO does not affect people from Pakistan. Take care, Jason

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Amritpal February 3, 2017 at 10:43 am

Hi sir…i came in us in 2013 on b1b2 tourist visa…i applied my asylum case within 1 year and i got work permit but, its almost 3 years gone i dont recieve any interview letter. I m still waiting for my first interview letter.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

Unfortunately, this is pretty common. You can see the wait time for your local asylum office if you look at the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, a link is at right. If you have a health problem or family separation, you may be able to expedite your case. Contact the local asylum office for info about that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Petes February 3, 2017 at 3:15 am

Hey how you doing Jason
I am under asylum here but my case is pending from2 year no interview nothing but I have my work permit
So my question is trump change any rule in that like they can depot them or we can’t renew our work permit or they no more giving them green card

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2017 at 10:31 pm

If you are from one of the seven listed countries, it is possible you will have trouble renewing the work permit, but as of now, that is unclear. Otherwise, there are no rule changes, at least not yet. Take care, Jason

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Sarah February 1, 2017 at 3:41 am

Hi Jason i filed my application for assylum last year In November at the Nebraska service center and by tracking it shows that it was received on the 9th but I have not received a confirmation of receipt to show they received my application not been called for finger prints .im confused what should I do i phoned the assylum office they said I should submit my first page of application and a written letter to enquire but up to now I have not heard anything from them

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 7:33 am

Keep following up with them, but it seems to me that something is wrong. I recommend you re-file in order to avoid a problem with the one year bar (asylum applicants must file for asylum within one year of entering the US or they may be barred from receiving asylum). If you re-file, you might want to use a lawyer to help you, and certainly you need to explain why you are re-filing. Also, you can request your entire file (assuming it was received) using form G-639, available at http://www.uscis.gov. This takes several months, but it is worth a try, as it is free and it could result in you getting copies of the receipts that you missed previously. Take care, Jason

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Evey Kozo January 31, 2017 at 9:37 am

My hubby already is in the US and has asylum here. We applied for his refugee travel document(I-131) so we could go on a trip. How do Trump’s actions affect using refugee travel doc, for someone already in US and already granted asylum? Will the I-131 processing be halted?

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 12:19 am

If he is from one of the banned countries, he should not travel. If he is from a different country, there is no change. However, you should watch the news in case new countries get added to the list of banned countries. If you think your country might be added to the list, maybe it is better to not travel, at least until things settle down a bit. Take care, Jason

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Ellen January 31, 2017 at 5:28 am

Hallo Jason
I am a 50 year old Zimbabwean woman and I submitted my application for Asylum and my 150 day clock will be up on the 19th of February 2017. I intend to submit my application for work authorization on the 20th of February. How is my application going to be affected by Trump’s executive orders. Would it help if I find a lawyer to submit my work authorization application for me. Does it make it easier or faster. How long does it take to get the work authorization.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 12:16 am

We are seeing the work permits take 2 to 4 months to get them. A lawyer will not make it faster, but if you are having trouble with the form, the lawyer should be able to help with that. As for Trump’s orders, they should not affect you since you are not from one of the banned countries. Take care, Jason

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Prabin Shrestha January 30, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Hi Jason,
I am From India, my asylum case has already been approved. I am applying for my green card on feb 9. does Trump immigration policy will affect green card given to asylee?

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Balli January 31, 2017 at 8:52 am

Hi jason. Your case has approved and according to law you legible for apply green card and after 3 year legible for apply citizenship and which policy you talking its only for different 7 countries. You no need to worry about it. For more infromation dont talk about your case socially direct talk woth your lawyer who represent your case.

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Jason Dzubow February 1, 2017 at 10:58 pm

If you are from India, there should be no affect. Take care, Jason

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Maged saeed January 30, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Hi there,
I am from Yemen, my asylum application has been granted last November. However, I am still concerned about my family (wife & two kids).. I already filed an application for my family since they have been granted asylum automatically when I was granted asylum.. The question now is can this eo affect my family application considering that i have already been granted asylum??
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 1, 2017 at 10:44 pm

It seems that such applications (I-730) are blocked, at least for the time being. I wrote a blog post about this today (Feb 1), which gives more information about this point. Take care, Jason

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adam January 29, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Hello,
i amI am Libyan citizen with pending asylum for 2 years. I just submit EAD application for renew. Do you think the new order will affect me and not be eligible for other EAD card

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 10:42 pm

It might, but it is unclear. The executive order states that immigration benefits (which would presumably include EAD) are suspended for nationals from certain countries, including Libya. However, the EO is vague on this point, and so it is unclear how long the suspension lasts for people who are in the US. In other words, the president’s order is vague, and so we do not know. Hopefully, the renewal will go through, but at this point, it is just not clear. Take care, Jason

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adam January 30, 2017 at 1:05 am

Do you think the action to suspend EAD needs an act from the congress? I am really shocked how can families with kids can tolerate. in the mean time they can’t even return back to their countries.

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Jason Dzubow February 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm

I hope this will not happen (and I do not know if EADs will be issued for people from countries on the “banned” list), but the executive branch (the president) has the authority now to eliminate EADs for people with asylum cases pending, at least that is how I read the statute. I have not heard about a plan to do this, but Mr. Trump is unpredictable, so we will see. Take care, Jason

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odile January 29, 2017 at 5:19 am

I didnt mind trump… Then he goes and SCREWS everyone even good people. Thanks Mr. Prickident

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Mimi January 28, 2017 at 8:43 am

Hello Jason. I would appreciate your help. I am an asylum seeker, my lawyer just submitted my applicAtion on friday 27th of january. I am looking asylum due to the fear that i have of returning to my country. In what sense could my application be affected now with the executive order of trump?

I live in new jersey, after the 150 days how long do u think it would take me to get the EAD?

How long could take the process since i filed my application to the day of the interview with the assylum officers? As according to the uscis website it should take 60 days, but i am wondering if this time is correct in real time?

Thank you

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Cases take years. Check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. Unless you are from a “country of particular concern,” the EOs probably will not affect your asylum case. Whether there will be additional changes to the asylum system under Trump, we do not yet know, but he cannot eliminate that system without Congressional action, and that does not appear to be on the table at this time, so hopefully, your case will proceed normally. Take care, Jason

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Sam January 27, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Hi Jason,

I recently got in the US. I am from Africa and I wanted to apply for Asylum. Do you think that there will be a problem with that now that Trump is signing all of those directives?

thanks

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Trump’s directives cannot change the law to end asylum, though potentially, he will make it more difficult. For now, none of the directives affect asylum seekers who are already in the US, unless they are from a country of particular concern. Those include several Middle Eastern countries, and for Africa: Sudan and Somalia. If you are not from there, you should be able to apply for asylum normally. Take care, Jason

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Asher January 27, 2017 at 9:57 pm

I granted withholding of removal back in 2004 by IJ ,however I did go to jail/state prison after that for non violant non serious crimes my question is under the new administration what could happen to me? Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 10:11 pm

You cannot legally be removed to the country of feared persecution, and unless there is another country where you have residency and can be deported to, you are probably safe from removal. The government could potentially detain you if they view you as a danger to the United States, but that is usually reserved for people with violent criminal convictions. At least that is how it has been prior to Trump. Take care, Jason

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Sunny January 26, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Hi Mr. Jason,

First of all, thank you for the great post! Very informative indeed!

Now that Mr. Trump has taken office and is signing executive orders here and there, I am wondering if any of the signed executive orders have an implication to pending Asylum seekers.

In particular, is there any implication for someone who has already applied for asylum, has been granted an EAD to work, and is waiting for an interview notice?

Moreover, you mentioned that President Trump could potentially narrow the group of eligible asylum seekers. Would someone who is seeking asylum to escape persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation be no longer eligible to be granted asylum? President Trump’s views on LGBT issues is very confusing, especially with this pick of cabinet members. Yet, he seems to be softening his views towards the LGBT demographic as well..

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 12:02 pm

It might, but it is unclear. The executive order states that immigration benefits (which would presumably include asylum) are suspended for nationals from certain countries. However, the EO is vague on this point, and so it is unclear how long the suspension lasts for people who are in the US. In other words, the president’s order is vague, and so we do not know. Eventually, we will see how the EO is implemented and we will know more. As for narrowing the asylum eligibility, the president has some power to do this, but federal courts have a say here, and I believe LGBT people will continue to constitute a particular social group and will continue to be eligible for asylum. Take care, Jason

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Haytham January 26, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Hey Jason,

I am Syrian and I was granted asylum a while back. I have applied for my green card almost 1 year ago. Will that affect my application to become a permitted resident?

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 11:49 am

The executive order may affect you, but it is unclear to me, at least, whether it does. The EO says that all immigration benefits (such as green card applications) are suspended, and then goes on to talk about suspending issuing visas for people abroad. It does not talk about how long immigration benefits are suspended, and so it is very unclear what will happen. We will have to wait and see how the EO is implemented. I would not be surprised if this causes additional delay in your case. You can contact the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right), and they may be able to help with a delayed case or at least provide you with additional info. Take care, Jason

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Basel January 26, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Hi,
I just granted asylum and I’m from Syria and trying to bring my wife and daughter to the US.
thier name were included in the asylum application and going to see the lawyer next week and start the i-730 form to bring my family here.
woke up today and see that Trump will ban Syrians from entering the US. will that effect me getting my family here?

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Basel January 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

considering I’m a minority in Syria

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 11:34 am

It is unclear. The ban is temporary, but unfortunately, Trump has a lot of power to keep people from coming to the US. He has less power to deport people who are here. Since we do not know how things will develop, I recommend that you file the I-730 petitions for your family, and then see where things are in a few months, after they are approved (I suspect they will be approved, but the next step of the process involves applying for a visa at the US consulate, and that is where they would potentially be blocked). Hopefully, we will know more by then, and maybe there will be exceptions for people who are joining family in the US. Take care, Jason

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Basel January 29, 2017 at 11:47 am

Jason thank you so much! I can’t believe after granting asylum I can’t see my daughter or my wife wont be able to visit our son’s grave here in the US.. I’m really considering
going to Canada and apply for asylum there

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Hopefully, things will improve here. If you decide to go to Canada, talk to a lawyer there before you go, as there are restrictions on people who were in the US seeking asylum in Canada. Take care, Jason

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Tim January 26, 2017 at 3:45 am

Good evening Mr. Jason . I have a question, can the new president change the policy of Asylum, for example deprive the LGBT of a chance to aply for Asylum . Couse he already was against of gays …

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Jason Dzubow January 26, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Actually, one of his new orders indicates that we will not admit refugees that harm others because of sexual orientation, so maybe that can be viewed positively (though in its full context, I do not see it as very positive). In any case, most people who apply for asylum based on LGBT fall into the protected category “particular social group” or PSG. The president has a lot of authority to modify what is a PSG, but it is not unlimited, and I believe there is federal court case law on this point. So he could try to restrict asylum for LGBT, but it is not fully within his power to do so. Take care, Jason

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Amanda January 25, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Hi Jason, I’am a US citizen and i married my husband in 2015. He had applied for the asylum case 2-3 years prior to getting married. His asylum was denied once and was reapplied for in May 2016. His case is currently pending. Iam currently pregnant and having our 1st baby with my husband.. What are the chances for my husbands aylum to be approved and is he considered undocumented or documented. Our marriage case was received at the local office 03/2016, we have not heard anything back from the uscis yet, its still pending and waiting for our marriage interview. Please help, thank you

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Jason Dzubow January 26, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Assuming he is eligible for the green card based on marriage, it should not be this slow. You should call USCIS to ask about the case (their phone number is on the website http://www.uscis.gov). Also, you can contact the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right. Further, you might contact your local asylum office to ask if the delay is related to the asylum case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Sweet January 23, 2017 at 10:11 pm

I am a pending asylee since almost 3 yrs since I had my interview and no response yet. Do you think I should apply to TPS to protect my stay nowadays if my asylum is denied ?

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Jason Dzubow January 25, 2017 at 7:13 am

The advantage of TPS is that you can remain in the US regardless of the asylum decision. The disadvantage is that, if you lose your asylum case and it is referred to court, a judge may be unwilling to hear the case if you have TPS (different judges have different policies on this). So if you want to try again in court if the asylum office denies the case, you might not want to file for TPS (but if you lose in court, the judge will order you deported). If you prefer the security of TPS, then you should apply for it. I think there is really no “right” answer, it is a matter of preference. Of course, if your asylum case is very weak or very strong, that may influence your decision on TPS. You may want to talk to a lawyer to get a better idea about that. And probably you would want to do that quickly, as the period of time to apply for TPS is limited. Take care, Jason

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emmanuel January 20, 2017 at 12:51 am

while i await my hearing can i work,school basically to help my family. n support my self

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 10:02 am

After you filed your asylum case, you have to wait 150 days. Then, you can file for your work permit, which allows you to work and/or go to school. You file for the work permit using form I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. If you work without permission, it does not affect your asylum case. However, it could affect other types of immigration cases (for example, if you wanted to change to an F-1 student visa). Take care, Jason

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Edison January 19, 2017 at 4:25 am

what happen to the asylee or those granted thier asylum when mr. donald trump wants to deport those legal and illegal docs.and also those refugees and asylees…what happen to them..?

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 8:57 am

Everyone in the US has due process protections under the Constitution and the president must follow the law, so he cannot simply kick people out – there is a long procedure, and there is no indication that Mr. Trump plans to deport people who already have asylum. Take care, Jaso

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Eldhose K January 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Hi , I came to USA in March 2013 in C1D Visa(cruiseline job) from India , its been almost 3 years now am staying in US, my questions are
Can I apply for an Asylum ? If I can , will marriage help me to adjust my status/ if yes how long it will take normally? If I go back to India before the decision of Asylum case , how it will affect my re-entry ?

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Jason Dzubow January 18, 2017 at 7:38 am

People who enter the US as crew members have a lot of restrictions on what they can do here, and so I am not sure about whether you can get a green card based on marriage. As for asylum, you can file, but you missed the one-year filing deadline (you are supposed to file within one year of asylum of you are not eligible for asylum). Maybe you meet an exception to that filing deadline – you can talk to a lawyer about that. Also, I do not know whether entering as a crew member has any effect on an asylum case. I think if you are trying to get a green card based on marriage or based on asylum, you need to talk to a lawyer about it. If you leave the US while your asylum case is pending, it is best to contact the asylum office and withdraw the case. Otherwise, they will eventually issue a deportation order against you, which will make it more difficult to return to the US. Take care, Jason

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Edison January 12, 2017 at 4:52 am

Hello,

2009 my mom filed a petition and possible the petitin comes out by 2020.. i came here in USA for a tourist after my visa expired i applied an Asylum. And my application for asylum granted so i get my EAD,SSN.. not my question is what if assuming my mom petitions comes out and im a asylum can i use my petition to file a green card or become a US citizen..?

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Jason Dzubow January 13, 2017 at 7:18 am

You probably could do that, but it seems like a waste of time. You can file for your green card one year after your asylum was granted. Four years after that, you can file for your US citizenship. You will get the GC much faster based on your asylum. Take care, Jason

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JAMES January 10, 2017 at 12:51 am

Hello Mr. Jason,

My asylum is pending and just applied for my EAD and waiting for approval.
I have Asylum Receipt and My Passport, as my ID.
Is it possible for me to Rent an apartment here in Houston TX ?

I am living with one of my friend and he is leaving the apartment as his contract expired.

Is it possible for me to get the contract on my name, with my above ID proof ?

I just applied for my EAD. How long it will take to get it approved in Houston, TX ? Also, do I need to apply for SSN, separately or it comes alongwith EAD ?

Looking forward to hear from you.

With Best Regards
James

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Jason Dzubow January 12, 2017 at 7:28 am

I do not know what the landlord will need to rent you a place – you will have to ask about the landlord. EADs where I live (East Coast) take 3 or 4 months from the time you file, but it may be faster in TX. Once you have the EAD, you will need to contact your local Social Security office and get the SSN. Take care, Jason

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Mn January 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

What will be the fate of aliens who are granted withholding of removal after convicted of a crime

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Jason Dzubow January 3, 2017 at 7:29 am

It depends on the crime. Certain crimes block a person from Withholding of Removal. If so, the government will try to deport the person again. They can still try to claim relief under the Torture Convention, which may or may not work, depending on the case. Also, some crimes require mandatory detention under the immigration law, and so even if the person is not deported, he or she might be placed into detention. Take care, Jason

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Jonny December 31, 2016 at 6:26 pm

At what time do I ask asylum before or after the Trump be a president

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Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 10:45 am

Who knows? If it was me, I would ask before he comes in, just so that you are in the queue and if the system changes for the worse, maybe you will be under the current system. But it may not make much difference – no one knows. Take care, Jason

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Mozart December 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Hi Jason, I have a few questions regarding the future of TPS under the new administration. I am from El savador I came here at a very young age(1998), in which I wasn’t paroled in properly. Since then I have had TPS for some time, in which their is no possible way for me to adjust status. I found out that I was in deportation proceedings after calling their hotline number in 2004, in which I missed due to reasons I had no control over(I was only 9 at the time). I must have been placed in absentia after missing the court date, effectively banning me from adjusting status for a period of ten years. If I reopen the case, and try to appeal and state the reason for my appeal has not having reasonable notice, what are the chances that I win the case? Also what are the chances that TPS is abolished under the new administration?

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Jason Dzubow December 21, 2016 at 7:31 am

I do not know much about TPS, so I cannot help with this. I recommend you talk to a lawyer who does TPS and hopefully he/she can help. Take care, Jason

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Francisc Lu December 19, 2016 at 10:54 pm

HI
i am from Africa,angola and originally from Cabinda Enclave, I am seeking for asylum will Trump Govern accept people from africa, facing repression and fear?

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Jason Dzubow December 20, 2016 at 7:33 am

In order to block you, he would probably need to change the law, which requires the cooperation of Congress, and that may not be too easy. I suspect that you will still be able to pursue an asylum case. Take care, Jason

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amandeep December 14, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Dear Jason hi

i have Q regarding Asylum i am from india can i eligible for asylum.

thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 15, 2016 at 6:59 am

Some people from India qualify for asylum. Take a look at the instructions for the form I-589, available at http://www.uscis.gov. It will give you an idea about who is eligible. Take care, Jason

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Loe K December 8, 2016 at 2:48 am

Hi Jason,
Thanks for the service you provide. Few weeks ago, someone provided a refence to you on an online discussion forum and since I have been reading your postings. I am also one of those whose application for adjustment (I485) is on hold for years because of material support provisions of INA. Recently in responding to my inquiry about the status of my pending application the service provided very specific information as to the reason for the hold. I was informed that my application was on hold because I joined a military group led by my uncle and the service I provided was voluntary for which there exists no exemption now.
In fact, I had never mentioned in my application (I589) or in interviews with AO that I had affiliation with any military or political organization in my home country. My entire claim was based on my activities outside of my country. The AO initially denied my application telling that my fear was not well founded but at the same time it acknowledged that I was very credible. Few years later I filed another application for asylum and the court granted it. The immigration judge in delivering the decision mentioned specifically that the service in first application concluded that I was very credible.
I strongly believe that I did not mention in either my interview with AO or the court hearing that I had affiliation with any military or political organization. And the reason is that simply I did not. Now, I have filed G 639 to find out more information. I am seriously contemplating to challenge the hold in the court.
My question is that if I the court does not decide for me what impact it may have on my status as an asylee

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Jason Dzubow December 9, 2016 at 7:23 am

Once you get the FOIA results, you will be in a better position to know what (if anything) is in your file about the military group. It may be that USCIS found information or got info from the State Department (US Embassy in your country) about your involvement. This info may or may not be accurate. Unfortunately, it is possible that the info you get will be redacted, and if there is evidence against you, it may be classified and you may not be able to see it. If they fail to give this to you, you can file a lawsuit to try to get it. Once you have the info, you could try to force the government to make a decision in the case by suing. You could also try to convince USCIS by submitting evidence that you are innocent. Either way, I recommend that you use a lawyer to evaluate the situation and choose a strategy. Generally speaking, my guess is that the risk of losing asylum status is not great, but the lawyer should evaluate any risk you face as well. Take care, Jason

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duke December 7, 2016 at 11:18 pm

Hello jason
I won the asylum grant by IJ on Nov2, DHS appealed on very last day on dec 2 and asked for three members review at BIA.
What are my chances to win at BIA? Will BIA grant three members review/
I had good attorney but I dont think he has enough experience in pleading in front of BIA.

I am shopping around for good attorney who is an expert in fighting the DHS appeals.
I had a genuine case and IJ granted relief.

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Jason Dzubow December 9, 2016 at 10:18 am

I cannot evaluate the chances for you to win at the BIA, as it depends on the basis for the appeal. Usually, DHS does not appeal unless they believe they have a chance to win, but sometimes, they appeal for no good reason. If you trust your lawyer, he knows the case best and may be best positioned to do the appeal. Otherwise, you can find a new lawyer (we can probably do it if you want). Take care, Jason

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Ruba December 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Thank you Jason for your usual valuable subjects, if the refugee status adjusted to permanent resident status that will be more safe?
And the new status protect the former refugee from deportation if that will happen?
Thank you again

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Jason Dzubow December 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

I think if you can file for a green card (meaning, you have had asylum or refugee status for at least a year and you are otherwise qualified), it is better to do so now. In the past, there were limits on the number of aslees who could file for a green card (10,000 per year, I think) and this created a long wait. I do not know whether the new Administration would try to bring back these limits, but maybe it is better to apply now for the GC just in case. As far as deporting someone, my guess is that it will be difficult if you have asylum, refugee status, or a GC. Take care, Jason

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J Lee December 6, 2016 at 11:29 pm

Hello Mr. Bzubow
I am an asylee and my application for asylum was approved by the Immigration Court. I am planning to register as a permenant resident. I lost my approval letter and I 94 and the attorney who represented me at the Immigration passed away almost a year ago. His wife was very kind to go through all the files hoping to find a copy of my documents. Unfortunetly she could not find my file. Now I would appreciate very much if your would kindly let me know which immigration form should I use to request a copy of my approval letter and I 94 from the immigration court.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

You might want to contact the court to see whether they can help you (a link to the courts is at the right). You might also be able to file a form I-102 to replace the I-94, but in truth, I do not know whether that will work, since it is generally to replace an I-94 obtained upon arrival in the US – you should talk to a lawyer about that. You can also file a Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of your file: https://www.justice.gov/eoir/freedom-of-information-act. But that might take some months. Take care, Jason

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AJ.Ma December 6, 2016 at 1:02 am

Hi, Jason, thank you for your great blog and all the information.

just one question, I had my asylum case granted in April/2016, so I will file my greencard application when he is in office, should I worry about it ? I read that you said he need to change the law to stop us get a greencard. so how long gonna it take to change a law about greencard policy?

thank you so much. you have a great day.

AJ

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Jason Dzubow December 6, 2016 at 7:31 am

Trump could change things to make it harder/slower to get a green card based on asylum, but I think this is probably under the radar, and you will probably not be affected. I recommend you watch the news for any changes, but if you can, file for the green card as soon as possible, which is the one-year anniversary of receiving asylum (do not file early, or it will be rejected). Take care, Jason

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