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.

{ 175 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha December 5, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Hi Jason,

I have applied for an expedited interview with NJ Asylum Office two weeks ago. Today I received the following response:

“We received your request for an expedited interview; the Scheduling Officer has been notified of your request. When the interview date is scheduled, you will receive notification by mail indicating the date and time”.

This response sounds a bit vague. Does it mean they have approved my request and will schedule me soon? Or does it mean that they are to decide whether to schedule me in the next few months or whenever it’s my turn? Please let me know what you think.

Thank you


Jason Dzubow December 6, 2016 at 7:23 am

That is pretty vague – I do not know what it means, and you’d think they could have sent you a clearer answer. I would email them back and ask for clarification. Take care, Jason


ada December 3, 2016 at 5:32 pm

hello jason. one question. i have been in usa with a tourist visa. my visa is for 3 yrs. and then i met my future husband in us. my question is while he is filing F1 visa am i eligible to go in us for 3 months to stay with him. thnx


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2016 at 11:53 am

Sorry, I can only answer questions related to asylum on this blog. Take care, Jason


AZAZ December 2, 2016 at 11:11 pm

Hi Jason
I was granted asylum in early 2004. When I applied to register as a PR my application was put on hold because of the material support provisions of the Immigration Law and since (10 years) my application has been on hold. Every year I do renew my EAD and get a news Refugee Travel Document.
A year after my application for asylum was granted I petitioned (I-730) to bring my wife. After due process, she was admitted into the US and a couple of years ago she became a naturalized citizen.
Since my application for adjustment to PR has been on hold for almost a decade I would like to know about the possibility of reapplying for Permanent Residency as the spouse of an American citizen.


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

It’s a good question, but I am not sure that will help you. If you have a material support issues, that issue exists however you try to become an LPR. There is a link at right called TRIG inadmissibility. There was an email associated with that website (it may be defunct). You can try email them, if it works. Otherwise, you can try emailing USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right). I doubt either of these will make it faster, but they might give you more info about the delay. My understanding is that USCIS is writing regulations about this issue, which is taking forever, and they are putting cases on indefinite hold until the regs get written. Take care, Jason


AZAZ December 4, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. As a matter of fact I did send a request about the status of my application a few weeks ago to TRIG and I was informed that my application is still on hold because the group that I was associated with almost 30 years ago meets the definition of an undesiganted Tire III terrorist group. What surprises me the most is that in 1985 or 86 during my association with that group, the US governent was actively providing hundreds of millions of dollars in military support annually to that particular organization to fight the communists in our part of the world. The leaders of the group were welcomed ino the White House by different presidents throughout the years. Today the same leaders are having the highest political offices in my home country and they are supported financially and militarily by the US government. Yesterday they were called freedom fighters fighting the so called “evil empire” and today they are regarded as the closest allies of the US in fight against terror.


Jason Dzubow December 5, 2016 at 7:33 am

It is pretty damn ironic. I just had a case referred to court where the person worked for a government organization in his country that fought terrorists. They worked closely with the US. Nevertheless, he was referred to court because a report indicates that his organization used torture against terror suspects. If this is true, why were we working with them? And if we were working with them, why punish him for doing work supported by our own government? I suppose this shows the disconnect between asylum as a humanitarian remedy and asylum as a tool of foreign policy. It is an interesting issue, for what that is worth. Maybe the new Administration will be more interested in using asylum as a tool of foreign policy, in which case you might actually benefit from a change in Administrations. We shall see. Take care, Jason


mary January 12, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Azaz ,
I hope your issue will be solved , I have a question about the refugee travel document , since you have I-485 pending for years , were you able to travel and re-enter the states with refugee travel document with no problems ?
I have similar case , pending I-485 and a valid refugee travel document , but I am scared to travel as some attorneys say you must have advance parole to be able to travel while I-485 is pending


Dose See November 29, 2016 at 5:27 am

hello Jason thank you so much for this help you provide all of us. i have alot of questions to ask you about my pending case. hope you will answer the way its possible for you.

Question 1: my case is being filed in NewYork, and im living in LA. im working for cash and have no records of tax payment in any state.. so do they ask to provide my tax payment records in the interview? and if i didnt have any records is that a problem?

Question2: do they ask to show my driving license and Identification card in NY? do you advice me to go take it from NY?

Question3: now its been one years since i filed my case, and in the USCIS website it shows i have to wait another year for the interview, will it get more delayed if i transfer my case to LA?

Question4 : if i transfer the case to LA after the interview, will it still get delayed for the court case because there a lot of cases in LA?

Question 5 : im planing to move to Newyork thinking it will be better create a tax payment record, but i saw in your blog that new administration might cancel pending EAD cases. you think it will happen?

Question 6 : is it possible for the administration to cancel already applied pending cases??

Question 7 : after i moved to new york if i change my address will it affect my case? will it get delayed?

Question 8 : is it ok to live in another state when i have a court case in another state?

Question 9 : if i transfer the case to LA and make my all my ID, Driving License and tax records and then if i transfer the case to another state will i still get to keep my year of application as 2015?

Question 10 : I dont have a lawyer, with this new adminitration you think its better for me to hire a lawyer?

Question 11: or els you think i should just wait just like this till i get the interview ?? (no ID, no Tax Records)
Thank you so much for your help. hoping for an reply


Jason Dzubow November 30, 2016 at 7:28 am

I think you should hire a lawyer, as you have many questions, and it is not possible for me to answer them adequately here. In short, if you are living in one city, and your case is in another city, it can create problems – if the Asylum Officer thinks you are lying about your address, he may think you are lying about your case. If you transfer the case to a new asylum office, you should keep your place in the queue and not face additional delay, though I recommend you follow up with the old and new asylum offices to make sure the case is transferred. As for what action the new Administration will take, I do not know. It will be very difficult for them to end the asylum system, and I do not think that is part of their agenda, so hopefully, asylum cases will continue. Take care, Jason


Joseph November 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Hi Jason
My question is about those applications that have been put on hold for inadmisibility relating to INA 212 (a) (3) (B). And particularly those groups that meet the defination of undesignated (Tier III) terrorist organizations. I am not very hopeful that the trump adminstation may grant group exemptions specially to groups that were based in majority muslim countries. However, my quesion is what about our current immigration status. Can the government revoke an asyless status granted by the immigration court or USCIS?


Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 8:34 pm

So far, we do not know what he will do. Asylum status can be revoked if there is a reason to do so, but the Asylum Office must follow a procedure to do that, and if status is revoked, the case will go to an Immigration Court where it will be reviewed, and the person can seek asylum or other relief from removal. Take care, Jason


Joseph November 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Thanks for the information.


Krano November 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Sir , I have read lot of supportive advice on asylum , i m writing with hope to get advice for me also .

I and my wife came to US ,5 month back and were applying asylum based on threat from social group in our country toward my wife were she was almost killed . this election has bring fear in our family as we don’t know weather to apply asylum or not , we don’t have much money left to survive and will be dependent on work permit my lawyer says we can still apply and nothing will happen very soon as i want to apply from LA also my B2 visa is still valid we dont know what to do as with limited funds for 7-8 months to apply and stay in US or go back to our country or find any other country help your advice will be helpful in making decision .


Jason Dzubow November 22, 2016 at 7:13 am

Unfortunately, I do not know what changes the new Administration will make to the asylum system. At the moment, the people being appointed to key roles makes me pessimistic, but we do not know any specifics. I suppose if you apply now, and things get bad, you will have some time to look for another country to go to. It does take time to make changes, but some changes can be done very quickly. So really, it is not possible to say what is best. Good luck, Jason


Sameera November 18, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Me.jason I applied for the asylum nearly 3months ago.i will be have to apply for the work permit in beginning of January.i heard that the trump will remove the work permits when he become.can he do it because we applied before he become the president


Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:46 am

As I read the law, the president is not required to issue work permits to asylum seekers, so he could change that part of the law. This would be extremely cruel, and I hope this is not on his radar, but we will see. My guess is that this will not be a priority change for his Administration (I hope). The fact that you already applied for asylum does not matter. Take care, Jason


JAMES November 22, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Dear Jason,

If he is not issuing the work permits for pending asylum seekers then how can we live in this country ? I was searching for this news online, but i couldn’t find it.



Jason Dzubow November 23, 2016 at 7:32 am

There is no news about that, but if you read the statute, INA 208, you will see that the attorney general has the power to issue work permits or not issue them (it says that the AG “may” issue a work permit to pending asylum seekers). I hope they will not change that, but they have the power to do so. Take care, Jason


JAMES November 23, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Thank you Jason,

I hope, they won’t change that in this situation as well !

Jake November 17, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Thank you very much Jason. You have put so much effort to help us get more info.

I am a dependant to an application filed by my wife and we are still waiting for our interview. We are from Africa. I have a work permit to work here but I have got a better employment offer with UNICEF in Asia. I want to go and work for 6 months and come back if a travel document can be given to me. But what do you think my chance of re-enterance after 6 months provided that MR. Trump has a policy of what he calls it “extrem vetting” even if I am not from a muslim country? Thank you in advance.


Jason Dzubow November 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

There is no way to know, but if you get Advance Parole (form I-131, available at, you should be able to travel and return to the US. I do not know whether you can get AP for 6 months, but you can ask. With the AP document, at a minimum, you should be able to get on the airplane and come back to the US, but of course, you will need to pay attention to any changes in the law to be safe (or hire a lawyer to do that for you). Take care, Jason


Bhatti November 19, 2016 at 3:02 am

Mr Jason,
I just have a question about I 130 that I filled for my wife and daughter about 4 months ago, it’s still in pending status, I am wondering if the current situation can effect in the process of my case? I am as assylee status.


Bhatti November 19, 2016 at 3:04 am

Mr Jason,
I just have a question about I 730 that I filled for my wife and daughter about 4 months ago, it’s still in pending status, I am wondering if the current situation can effect in the process of my case? I am as assylee status


Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:23 am

My reading of the law is that a president does have the authority to end the I-730 process without the need for Congressional intervention. So when Trump comes in, I suppose he could end this program. That would be extremely cruel, and it might result in a big fight, so hopefully this will not be a target for his administration. Take care, Jason

Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:21 am

If you have asylum, you are not eligible to file an I-130 for your relatives. You can only do that if you have a green card or you are a US citizen. In that case, an I-130 takes several months to process; it is longer for applicants with green cards. Take care, Jason


Bhatti November 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Thank you so much sir for the reply, can I still be able to apply for my greencard after one year as assylee? You think anything could possibly change?

JAMES November 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

Hello Jason,

My Asylum case ( I-589) is pending since 8th August 2016. I am an Indian by birth. My son ( 22 ), Indian, is willing to do his Masters in Engineering in USA. Is there any restriction for him to get F1 Visa for USA ? He is a Mechanical Engineer. Please reply.


Jason Dzubow November 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm

There is no restriction. However, since you have applied for asylum, it might make it more difficult for him to obtain an F-1 visa. Take care, Jason


JAMES November 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Thank you Mr. Jason,

It means, even for a professional, if his father is in USA waiting for Asylum judgement, it is difficult to get F1 Visa, is it ?

And he is not my dependent, since he is 22 years old.

In this case, how can he do his higher studies in USA, since he want to do it from here ?

What about Canada ?



Allen November 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm

relatives of asylum applicants all have problem with non-migrant visa regardless of age. because F2 is non-migrant visa and his mother sought asylum in the US, which means he has high chance of staying of in the US after completing his study. It is not compatible with non-migrant visa. So Visa officer is very likely to deny his visa, but it is not 100 percent. he can try. As for Canada, he shouldn’t have problem.


JAMES November 19, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Thank you Allen

Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:15 am

The embassy will not issue an F-1 visa if they believe your son will seek asylum in the US. The fact that you applied makes it more likely that he will apply. He can overcome that problem with evidence that he will leave the US once he completes his studies. Take care, Jason


JAMES November 20, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Thank You Mr. Jason,

Could you please indicate possible evidence which he can show ? At least some example ? Sure, he is not coming to file an asylum. But, it is his desire to do Higher Studies in USA. So, how can I help him in this situation ?

abd November 17, 2016 at 5:13 am

Hey Jason. Thanx for your efforts to help us
Long time I didn’t seen my mother almost 6 years iam waiting my interview . I really suffering from over thinking and sleep disturbances I visited the psychatrist and he told me I’ll give report explain what happing to you and send to immigration. Do you think this report enough to exepdite my interview. Thanx for your help again .


Jason Dzubow November 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

Maybe. Anyway, you can try. Also, you may be eligible to travel and meet her in a third country using Advance Parole, form I-131, available at Not everyone is eligible, and so you should check with a lawyer before you travel. Take care, Jason


Sumn November 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Is it good ideas to apply for asylum now, mr trump periods.
I was planning to apply, but now I am afraid, what to do?


Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Since no one knows how/if the law or procedure will change, I cannot say what is better. If you fear return and want to stay here, then maybe you should apply for asylum. If the laws change for the worse, you can decide what to do at that time. Take care, Jason


Andrew November 16, 2016 at 10:19 am

Thank you very much Jason.
My wife is a pending asylum waiting for her interview. We came to this country together and I have a work permit since she included me in her application. We got a child here and we are now worried that Mr Trump’s administration may either deny me a work permit or deport me since I am not the primary applicant. What are your thoughts in here?


Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 5:43 pm

I don’t think that is a concern on the (long) list of things concerning immigration advocates. If you are a dependent on the case, it would require a change in the law prevent you from remaining in the case. This would require Congressional action, which won’t be easy to accomplish. Also, I have not heard any proposals about eliminating dependents from asylum cases. Take care, Jason


Patti Lyman November 15, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Jason, don’t look now, but there are some very good people on the transition team recruiting people who genuinely want to help the kind of people you and I represent. Give it a chance.


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 5:57 pm

I can’t say I am optimistic, but I am in a wait-and-see mode at the moment. I do think it would be possible for him to get a lot done, but my fear is that he will be beholden to the promises he made or implied, and that it will result in lots of legal fights. It would be better to find some common ground and implement reforms that might not be fully satisfying to his supporters, but which also do not unduly antagonize his opponents. If he can strike that balance, I will be impressed. But like I say, I am not optimistic. Take care, Jason


Patti Lyman November 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Clearly Trump’s first priority is getting rid of convicted criminals….surely there can be common ground there. Obviously their family members don’t want their criminal relatives deported, but frankly many USC spouses, children and parents suffer hardship every day as well when their USC relatives are incarcerated, but those USCs don’t get a free pass. I think there needs to be some accommodation from both sides of this debate. It will be interesting.


Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 7:22 am

Isn’t there a Chinese proverb about “interesting times”? Anyway, we will see what he does. Given that there are limited resources, and aliens have the right to due process of law, there are limits to how quickly people can be deported, even criminal aliens. Perhaps they will try to amend the INA to make this easier, or maybe change the process (eliminate the asylum office and send everyone to court?). We will see. Take care, Jason


Carlos Casstro November 15, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for all the information so critical for us right now. What do you think is the future for tps for central americans? Can he stop the protection right away or after the current expiration date?
Carlos C.


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm

I do not know, but I imagine it would be impractical to stop it right away. It is far easier to deny a benefit than to take one away that you already have. Legally, though, I suppose the government could cancel TPS immediately, but I think that would create too much of a mess. Whether TPS will be extended, I do not know. Trump made many promises, but many of them are impractical or don’t make sense, even if you support an anti-immigrant agenda. We will have to see how his policies shape up. Take care, Jason


Chako November 15, 2016 at 1:40 am

Dear Jason,

I am an Asylum seeker from Africa. I requested expedited interview based on my family condition back at home. After an interview my decision came out to be recommended approval. I am so worried much that the background check will be slow and my family will suffer a lot. Is there a way I can request expedite my background check to get final decision?

Thanks for your usual help.


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 7:29 am

Unfortunately, I know of no way to expedite the background check. I suppose you can remind the Asylum Office about the problem back home, but I do not know that that will help. You might also try contacting a Congressional representative, but again, that is not so helpful. It will not hurt, though. Good luck, Jason


Chako November 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Thanks Jason for your time and response.


Allen November 17, 2016 at 11:34 am

Hey Chako,

Can you please share how you made the request for expedite interview? Thanks!


mark November 14, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Hi, I would like to ask you something about am trying to expedite my case because my mother is very very sick back home
my office is in VA Is it good to go there and talk to the Office and give them the document ?
and how long do you think ill wait to have to be interviewed form expresses ?

thank you


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 7:23 am

Virginia has a form to complete to request that the case be expedited. You should submit evidence with the form, plus make sure that all evidence in your case is submitted. Usually, they give you a decision about whether they will expedite in less than a month, but it may take several months until the interview, and even longer for s decision. Take care, Jaso


Mark November 15, 2016 at 11:34 am

Thank you so much
Where can I get this form or its in the office when I go there and give them the evidence and cover latter or I get it online.

If I do all of this I may even wait a year
Am from Yemen and I fear after all this I’ll be stuck waiting for the decision or stuck on the background check
Do you have anyone from Yemen or you think that hey have been waiting for the background check because they are from Yemen thank you


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

I do have clients from Yemen and they seem to have similar problems with the background check as people from other majority-Muslim countries. As for the form, it is in their office, but maybe you can just email them and ask for a copy of it. You can find their email if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Amal Abdelraouf November 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

what about I-130 please


basel November 14, 2016 at 6:52 am

hello im muslem from syria my over 21 years old us ctz dougter filed i 130 for me will any of this efect my case?
thank you mr jason


Jason Dzubow November 14, 2016 at 7:31 am

If your 21+ USC daughter filed for you, you may be able to get your green card in the US. Talk to a lawyer to be sure. Take care, Jason


Amal Abdelraouf November 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm

thank you very much for your reply, but i am in Syria right now


Catherine Pratibha November 14, 2016 at 6:23 am

Hi Jason!! I got little relieved after reading your comments regarding asylee deportation in Trump’s presidency!! I have my case under procecutionl descreation!! I am from india.So wt are the chances if they gonna reopen cases like this or they gonna send people back their home straight!!can you please reply on this??thx!!


Jason Dzubow November 14, 2016 at 7:30 am

I am not confident that PD will continue in its current form. However, if Trump wants to deport the criminal aliens first (which is the same thing Obama has been doing), people with PD should be at the bottom of the list. Also, if you lose PD, you can always assert your defenses (like asylum) with the Immigration Judge and fight your case. My guess is that not much will happen to PD people anytime soon, but we will have to wait to see how they prioritize their cases. Take care, Jason


peya November 14, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Hi Jason

What is PD please ?


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 7:21 am

Prosecutorial Discretion – where the government lawyer decides not to prosecute the case and basically leaves the case in limbo, This is a good result for some people (who would otherwise lose their cases), and it has been used in the recent past as a way to prioritize cases that the government wants to deport and set other, low-priority cases, aside. Take care, Jason


Umurah November 14, 2016 at 1:34 am

Hello Mr. Lawyer!

I have a question. I came from Pakistan and I have pending asylum. I already passed my interview but waiting for more than year for my interview result. In this time, I got married and got pregnant. Can my baby get American citizenship? What happen if my interview result is negative and my baby already born here?


Jason Dzubow November 14, 2016 at 7:26 am

The baby will be a US citizen if he/she is born here. If your husband is a citizen of the US, maybe he can file for you. Also, if your case is denied and sent to an Immigration Judge, you can try again for asylum there, but you might have other options based on the new baby. You will have to talk to a lawyer about that, if it happens. Good luck, Jason


Umurah November 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Can Donald Trumph change birth citizen ship? Is that easy to change?


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 7:19 am

It would probably require an amendment to the Constitution, which is very difficult. However, potentially, there are arguments that it can be changed without an amendment, but that would have to be decided by the Supreme Court, and even with a conservative court, I think that will be a difficult argument to make. Take care, Jason


Umurah November 16, 2016 at 1:06 am

American supreme court is divided between republicans and democrats? what do you mean by conservative court? In my country Pakistan, changing constitutional law is like traveling to moon by foot, how is here in the USA?

Mike November 14, 2016 at 12:01 am

Thank you for your good work. I am an affirmative asylum applicant in the process of waiting to apply for 150 days so that I can apply for work permit. I do not have a lawyer and hoping to get a work permit so that I can work to pay get a lawyer. Could Mr. Trumps administration abolish giving of work permits to people waiting for their asylum cases? Or can they make it hard for people to acquire work permits?

Also if the 6 months B2 Visa given at the point of entry has not expired yet but one has filed an asylum case. If they leave can one be allowed to re-enter America?
Thank you so much


Jason Dzubow November 14, 2016 at 7:19 am

The work permit is part of the statute, meaning that Trump would need the cooperation of Congress to eliminate it. I do not think that will happen, but if they shift resources away from the asylum system, it could cause more delay. As for the re-entry question, I have had clients do it, but it is a real risk – if they know you are seeking asylum (and they might know), they can deny you re-entry, since asylum is not compatible with a B visa. It is far safer to apply for the Advance Parole, which lets you leave and return (though obviously you should not go to your country of feared persecution). You apply for that using form I-131, available at Take care, Jason


Hindu Guy November 13, 2016 at 5:58 am

Hi Jason,

You’re truly a great guy. At first, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My question is Under Trump Administration, will the Hindus from the Muslim majority countries get any amenity in terms of getting the asylum granted? I am talking about those hindu people of countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, who are persecuted by the radical Muslims. During election campaign, we heard Trump to praise the Hindus as hard working & skilled and he thanked them for contributing to the prosperity of the United States. As he thinks the Muslims indulge Fundamentalism and hindus are good, will there be any soft corner in him or his administration to facilitate the hindus? I mean things like hindus will be considered to be more likely to get the asylum granted etc.


Allen November 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm

I believe it is very unlikely. your chance of winning asylum is mostly depend on the strength of your case and the officer that interview you. I don’t believe the officer will be much affected by what Trumps said. Trump may make the asylum bar higher for certain group but he didn’t say he will ease the bar for any group yet. He praised Hindus during the campaign merely to attract American citizen hindu’s vote. I don’t believe he will show any sympathy for foreigners including Hindus outside the US. in addition, His current proposal to decrease H1B visa hurts mostly Hindus.


Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

If you are persecuted on account of your religion, that can be a basis for asylum now, and that should continue. Trump has not stated that he will be blocking Hindus from the US as he has said for Muslims, but I have not heard about any special privileges for Hindus here either. My guess is that for Hindus fleeing religions persecution, the situation will be basically the same under Trump as Obama. Anyway, I suppose that is the best we can hope for. Take care, Jason


Hindu Guy November 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Thanks a lot for your answer Jason. Please help me once more by suggesting a couple of excellent law firms in Los Angeles, whose fees will be affordable like yours. I would go with one of them.


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm

I recently received an email from an attorney interested in helping with asylum cases. I do not know him, but he said he is a retired lawyer in LA and that he does not charge any money for his services. If you email me ( I will send you his email. Take care, Jason


Hindu Guy November 16, 2016 at 6:33 am

Sent you an email. Please check your inbox. Thanks!

James November 25, 2016 at 8:45 am

Could you please share his mail address as well. I sent en email to your inbox already.

Masud Rana November 25, 2016 at 10:19 am

Thanks for your assistance.
Currently me, my wife and two kids arrived on November 2016 as B1/B2 Visa. My brother in-law he filled my I 130 during 2014 and I have copy only the Case Was Received. Please advice, can I submit the application as Asylum with family member and when can I apply?

Thank you.

Sachin November 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Hi Jason,
I am in H1B status ( recently changed my status from TPS to H1B)
USCIS has extended TPS for my country. If I re-register my TPS application, What would happen to my H1B? Do I lose my H1b?


Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:24 pm

I do not know about this. I believe you can have both, but I am not sure. If this is an issue for you, you should talk to a lawyer to research the question. Take care, Jason


alex November 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I have both. What I have been told by 2 lawyers if that think of your TPS as a safety net in case anything happens to H1B. However, it makes things a little complicated if you ever want to travel. Basically if you Leave the US and retrun on your H1b, you may/maynot be eligible for TPS extensions


De November 11, 2016 at 11:13 pm

Dear Mr. Jason,

I have a question. For asyless who filed their cases according to the current law and before Mr Trump has been elected as a president. Don’t you think its unfair if Mr Trump changes everything in a way which could possibly harm certain categories with pending asylum cases. Because after reading your article, I noticed that the situation is unclear and it causes anxiety. Second question. I filed my case without a lawyer because I couldn’t afford it and I applied for the work permit but still waiting for the confirmation receipt. I am planning to hire a lawyer once I am ready to so however, I want your advice and comments for me and ppl who have similar situation. Thank for your help.


Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:42 pm

I do think it is unfair to change the rules in the middle of the game, as it were. However, the federal government has a lot of power to grant or deny immigration benefits, such as asylum, and I think it could change the rules. There are many reasons to hope that it will not happen, and people who are present in the US have certain protections, which I discuss above, but we will have to wait and see what he tries to do. I do think it is helpful to have a lawyer. I wrote a post about that on July 7, 2016 – maybe it will be helpful. Take care, Jason


Monna November 11, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Hi Jason,

My assylum referred to court in October 2015. It was in VA and I moved my case to Md to fasten the process. Now my Master hearing is in January 2017. But my driver license and my school is in VA. Will that affect me? Also I was married when I came from my country (my assylum document says married in the marital status section), we are separated now I have a new boyfriend (Citizen) we are planning to get married. Can I do that with out affecting my case? I am looking forward for your advice. Thank you


Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:37 pm

You need a lawyer to help you through all this. It could affect your case if the Judge thinks you are lying about your address, or your marriage. Also, if you can get divorced and marry a US citizen, you can probably get your green card that way. However, this process is a bit complicated, and it is worthwhile to have some help getting through it. Take care, Jason


Tina November 11, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Hi Jason,

Thank you so much for your selfless service to us. I know you have talked about getting in touch with a Canadian lawyer if anyone is considering moving there to pursue asylum. I have an emotionally fragile teenage daughter,who was told by a boy in school yesterday that she will be the 1st to get deported soon. She has been so depressed since then,
So afraid because of the rising rate of teenage suicide.


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 5:56 pm

This is a real problem and I am hearing about it from different people. I strongly suggest you talk to the school and report what happened. Even if you do not specifically report the boy, the school should be aware of such instances and it should take action. The problem is that when an authority figure gives permission to hate, there is a certain element of society who will more readily express their hate (usually these are people who have few positive attributes and can only make themselves feel good by bringing others down. It is the lowest form of cowardice). I wish you and your daughter well, Jason


Tina November 11, 2016 at 6:14 pm

GOD bless you,Sir.


kate sugarman November 11, 2016 at 10:46 pm

Don’t be shy to seek out help for your teenage daughter. Even if you do not have health insurance, you can speak to the school’s guidance counselor. You can look up local clinics that provide health services or mental health services. Let us all join together to let these children know that they are not alone.


Tina November 12, 2016 at 7:45 am

Thank you Ma’am. I will. She is so terrified. We thought we found some respite,here but no. We have had to deal with situations similar to what we were running from,then someone comes to our rescue, but then and again, something new happens and she relapses. I have come close to taking my life several times,but that little thread,(my kids)pulled me back each time. Thank you and Mr Jason for your selflessness and love for humanity.

kate sugarman November 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm

There is a movement that I learned about on facebook
Wearing a safety pin on your clothes. It says “you are not alone”. It is support and solidarity for every group that Trump has targeted. Feel free to friend me and you can see the link. I will wear the safety pin on my clothes every day

Tina November 12, 2016 at 10:25 pm

I am no longer on fb for privacy reasons.

Daniel November 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

There’s one very simple, potentially devastating thing Trump can do if he wants to reduce or eliminate asylum claims. Statute gives the executive authority to impose a filing fee for an asylum application, which is currently free. It’s limited to the costs of adjudications, but I imagine accounting tricks could be used to calculate a pretty high figure for those costs. And we’re dealing with a guy who thought nothing of stiffing his contractors and daring them to sue him; he could easily have DHS fix a patently illegal filing fee and dare AILA to sue and prove it’s too high.

Please feel free to delete this post if you think it might give the new administration ideas.

Oh, and PLEASE take that picture down. That’s an example of the kind of thing that drove millions of voters to elect the jerk we’re going to be stuck with for the next four years.


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I am not so sure that would happen, and if it did, I expect people would still be able to file buy either paying the fee or (if available) using a fee waiver. I’m not sure I understand what you mean about the photo, but my guess is that not many Trump supporters are reading this blog or would care what I have to say. Take care, Jason


AlexH November 11, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Hi, Daniel, I do not think Donald Trump would eliminate asylum, his policies towards eliminating illegal immigrants (this is very unlikely to be completed thoroughly) and scrutinizing background check might utilize more resources from immigration, therefore, causing potential delay.


Michael November 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Dear Jason,

My wife and I are filling for asylum next week. We decided to use the advice of an attorney. Do you think for people in our case, the new administration could affect our possibilities for being approved our asylum request. Also, we will apply for a work authorization, how do you see our panorama?

Thank you so much.


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm

No one knows how the new Administration will try to change asylum, or if they will be able to. All you can do is apply and see what happens. Once USCIS receives your application, you must wait 150 days and then you are eligible to apply for a work permit. Take care, Jason


Kim November 11, 2016 at 4:28 am

Hi Jason,

Thank you for writing this timely piece and taking the time to respond to comments/questions.

I was granted Withholding of Removal early this year. My question is: Is there any possibility that I might be sent back to the country where I definitely will be persecuted? I was not settled in a third country before coming to the U.S., and the U.S. is the only country I have been to. I’d appreciate if you could give your expert opinion on this. Thanks!


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 11:28 am

It would be very difficult to deport you, and would most likely require a change in the law. This cannot happen without the cooperation of Congress, and I think that is unlikely. In other words, you are probably pretty safe. Take care, Jason


alex November 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

jumping on this, what do you think would happen if trump suspends TPS for TPS beneficiaries, i.e. syrians. Will they be deported back to Syria?


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 7:17 am

If they have no other status, I imagine he would try to deport them, but they still have due process protections and can ask for asylum or other relief. Even if such a person was ordered deported, I do not know where you could send the person. To Damascus, where they would likely be arrested (and killed) at the airport? In practical terms, I do not see how you can deport a Syrian at this time. Take care, Jason


Mimi January 28, 2017 at 9:31 am

Hello, for how long did you wait, since you filed your application until you were granted the assylum? Thank you


Fares November 11, 2016 at 12:23 am

I am on pending asylum case with my wife since feb 2015 in florida. Ipon filling the form i asked my lawyervabout the religon field and told him thatcwe are not muslims anymore and we do not follow any relegion . So what should we fill. He advised that we should put islam to be condistant with the religon on birth certificate.
Now we are considered muslims and we are not.
Can this be amended?


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 11:24 am

You can amend the form at the interview. However, if you change your religion, you would need to explain that. Until we see what changes are made to the asylum system, there is not much to do. For example, if Trump tries to restrict asylum to Muslims that is one thing; if he restricts it to people from majority-Muslim countries (regardless of their religion), that is something else. We will have to wait and see. Take care, Jason


Sasha November 11, 2016 at 12:09 am

Dear Jason,

Me and my husband are from different countries abroad and we(technically he) had an Interview on April 2015, applying for political asylum, and he’s Muslim. We haven’t got any response since then(1.5 years now). Do you think new legislations could affect those cases that went through interview but had no revision yet?

Thank you a lot,


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 11:22 am

We do not know what changes will be made yet, but certainly Trump would have the power to affect the case based on your husband’s religion. Such a move would be legally dubious, and would result in lawsuits to hopefully prevent it. As I discuss above, it is one thing to deny a benefit (such as asylum) and another thing to deport a person who otherwise qualifies for asylum. It is much harder to do the latter. In any case, we are all waiting to see what happens, and it is best to remain calm and see how things go. It is not so easy to change things and there are certain protections built into the system, so we hope for the best. Take care, Jason


david November 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

hi and thank you thank so much for your help
so if Trump start deportation for asylum with pending case can they move to Canada and seek asylum because they no long can stay here in USA and they can’t go back home thank you.


Al November 10, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Excellent and very important question for a lot of people.


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 11:15 am

First, you can fight your deportation here, but under current law, if you decide to go to Canada, there are restrictions. This may change if it appears Trump is violating the rights of asylum seekers (hopefully this will not happen). If you decide to go to Canada, contact a lawyer there first, so you can make sure you are eligible. Take care, Jason


Allen November 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

This is the single most website in this planet where you can have immediate answer to your asylum related questions for free!! and the only website where we read a detailed analysis for Trump’s future influence on asylum seekers! Thanks Jason! Even you don’t know how helpful you are!


Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

No worries. It gives me something to do in my free time. Take care, Jason


fabricio November 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Jason, thanks so much for anwsering all this questions, i pretty much already found my anwsers by just reading.
In times where fear and confusion seems to take all our time we can still find good human beings like u just to give a word of comfort.
God Bless you..


Jason Dzubow November 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm

Thank you. Hopefully, the new Administration will not be as bad as we fear. Take care, Jason


XY November 10, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Hi Jason
I m young 24 years old guy from Pakistan.I came to US in jan 20I6 i have file for affirmative asylum case in May 2016 in USA because I was a part of a social group(LGBT) in my country.In my country being a LGBT is a big crime and it’s punishment is 20 years in jail or death that’s it because LGBT people’s r not acceptable in my country even not by there families that’s y I run from there.Do u think Trump Gona affect the affirmative asylum cases of LGBT people’s from Islamic countries
ND my 2nd question is do u think canada is much safer for LGBT people’s because canada accept them more then USA??


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:16 pm

1 – The Republican Party platform implies that they might want to eliminate the particular social group (PSG) category of asylum protection. This category includes LGBT people. It would take Congressional action to eliminate the category, but Trump would have the power (without Congressional action) to try to redefine PSG to exclude gay people. Such a move would certainly be subject to a court challenge, but I am not sure how that would play out. My guess is that they will not try to block LGBT people from asylum, but that is just a guess. We will have to wait and see how things move along. 2 – Maybe Canada is better, but there are restrictions on traveling from the US to Canada to seek asylum (it’s called the Safe Third Party Agreement). If you want to go to Canada, I highly recommend that you talk to a lawyer there about your possibilities for success, and whether you can travel from the US to Canada and ask asylum. Take care, Jason


Kami November 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm

XY plz contact me at my e.mail: i have same matter.i have ideas.


scopa November 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I am an asylum seeker from East African country in which their is current unrest. I have applied in October, 2016 and fingerprinted just last week. I am hoping that I will get EAD aka work permit and survive until my asylum case is decide. My question is do you think the new Trump government which will take office a of January 20, 2017 block me from getting my work permit after 180 days which is probably around April (which is within 100 days of trump presidency). Thank you so much!


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I doubt it. The rules about the work permit are written into the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) and would require an act of Congress to change them. It is possible that this could happen, but it seems to me very unlikely. And even if it somehow did happen, it will probably take a while, so hopefully you will get the EAD normally (by the way, you can file for it 150 days after your I-589 was receive – look on the receipt for the date it was received). Take care, Jason


scopa November 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Thank you Jason, have a blessed evening


A1 November 10, 2016 at 6:47 am

Hi Jason,

What do you think about prosecutorial discretion/priority enforcement under president Trump ? Obama administration give temporary relieves for family with ties in USA such as order supervision, administrative closing, etc.

Thank you


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:39 pm

We will see, but prosecutorial discretion is a very easy thing to eliminate, and so I am not optimistic that it will be continued – at least I expect it to become less common. Take care, Jason


Billy November 10, 2016 at 3:24 am

Thank you Jason for your article, my question is
I am former asylee from Syria since 2012 and permanent resident since 2013 and next year I will be eligible to apply for citizenship, can president trump block the Syrians from applying to us citizenship?
Thank you


Benedicta November 10, 2016 at 11:28 am

“All legal residents eligible to apply for citizenship should do so before January 20, 2017, or risk changes that make you ineligible.” – Joaquin Castro{Texas Congressman, Member of the House Foreign Affairs and House Intelligence Committees} said this via his verified Twitter account on 9th November 2016


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Probably that is good advice – Thank you for sharing, Jason


Billy November 10, 2016 at 6:06 pm

I am not yet eligible until October 2017


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

Sorry – I am responding to the questions out of order due to the way my Administrator page is set up. I will get to your other question. But a person can apply for citizenship 4 years and 9 months after the date that he became a permanent resident (this date is on the green card). Note that if you had asylum and became an LPR, they “back dated” your green card, so if you received it today, it would say that you are a permanent resident since November 10, 2015. The only exception is for people who got the green card by marrying a US citizen. Take care, Jason

Billy November 10, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Thank you Jason I know that but my question is can the new president block the citizenship to Syrians people how are already permanent residents through asylum?

Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm

I do not know, but I imagine he could at least make it more difficult. It will be much harder for him to deport people who are already here, but it is easier (from a legal point of view) to prevent people from gaining benefits, as there are all sorts of basis to deny or delay such benefits. I imagine if he tries this, there will be lawsuits to stop it. How such law suits will work out, I am not sure. Take care, Jason


lydia November 10, 2016 at 2:15 am

Thank you Mr Jason for your great article. It is very beneficial.


Haaa November 10, 2016 at 1:26 am

Hello Jason

I have a pending asylum and my fiancé, soon to be husband is still back home(Muslim country). When I am granted asylum, will my husband still be able to come to the US as a derivative, or could president trump block derivatives too?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:28 pm

First, under current law, you could only petition for him if you are legally married and you win your case. Second, Trump could probably block derivatives who are outside the US from coming here. If possible, I recommend that he come here before January. If he is here, he has many more rights compared with someone who is outside the US trying to get in. Take care, Jason


Haa November 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Hello Jason!

As I understood from my lawyer, as long as my fiancé and I are legally married before my interview, I will be able to petition for him if I win asylum. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I hope the trump administration don’t go as far as blocking derivatives but knowing he lawfully could, is very scary.


Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:24 pm

It is scary. I think technically, if you are married before the decision, you can petition for him, but it would be much better to be married before the interview, so you can tell the asylum office. Also, I have not checked the law in a while, and so it may be that you have to be married before the interview. If that is an issue, you should have your lawyer research it. As for derivatives, we do not know what MR. Trump will do, but many organizations are prepared to fight against any discriminatory policies. Take care, Jason


Kifle November 10, 2016 at 1:23 am

Dear Jason,
Thank you for usual timely information which has a paramount importance for Asylum seeker with pending cases and other immigrants. Just I am posting this message to ask whether there will be any scenario to improve the slow process of the affirmative asylum interview and court cases by the new President? Last but not least , I would like to extend my appreciation to Dr Kate Sugarman for her unlimited support for us and I support having her blog post about her experience which is definitely helpful.


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm

If Trump stops the flow of migrants at the Southern border and does not interfere with the other aspects of asylum, I suspect that the process will speed up pretty dramatically. We’ll see what happens. Take care, Jason


James Dan November 9, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Excellent post Jason. I’m continually reading how a entry ban for Muslims (although it can be based on any characteristic) is unconstitutional, but I can’t see how that is true- especially, as you mentioned, there is examples of past legislation to bar Chinese, etc… from entering the country and Congress has broad powers over immigration. If both Congress and Trump agree, I believe such a ban would be legal, your thoughts?

I certainly believe that PSG would probably be changed if people start winning asylum cases based on escaping gangs, domestic violence, or poverty (my personal belief that this isn’t a proper basis for asylum notwithstanding). Either that, or a heightened standard for passing a credible fear interview (and the expansion of expadited removal for those that fail the credible fear interview) that is based on the probability of getting asylum on their alleged PSG. In theory they can still make a CAT claim, but we both know these cases have a higher standard than asylum- so its unlikely a person can have their asylum case rejected yet still win a CAT claim. And of course, those that make a claim in the courts and lose won’t leave the country anyway. We will be dealing with a mass of illegal Central Americans with removal orders for years to come.

By the way, the ACLU has just threatened Pres. elect Trump with their “full firepower” should Trump go ahead with is campaign policies ( Evidently the ACLU believes that Trump’s promise to deport all illegal aliens is somehow unconstitutional (regardless of how impractical such a policy would be). Again, for the life of me, I don’t see how that would be unconstitutional. Assuming they are caught and brought before an immigration court, and having no basis for staying in the country, I see nothing unconstitutional about it. Although to be honest, I would imagine EVERYONE single one would make an asylum, CofR, or CAT claim, regardless of the likelihood of success. Your thoughts?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 7:47 am

I think it is pretty clear that we can ban Muslims from coming to the US, or ban people from majority Muslim countries from coming here (since it is not always easy to know who is a Muslim). I do think Mr. Trump could raise the bar for CFIs – but you can guess the response. There will be a new industry on the Mexican side of the border to help people prepare strong CFI cases, so they are ready to present them at the border. The problem with public policy is that people react to new laws in order to achieve their own ends. Maybe the situation can be made more difficult for people, but as long as there is a “push” and a “pull” to come here, people will be trying to come here. And people are usually pretty good about getting what they want. As for the ACLU, I think their role would be at a higher level – impact litigation. Or, for example, if Trump modified the definition of PSG, they could litigate that in the federal courts (though presumably, with the new appointment coming, such a case would face long odds at the Supreme Court). I could imagine some type of civil action where every alien makes all sorts of claims in order to slow down the whole system. I think there will also be a lot of issues with the rank and file IJs, who are largely committed to following the law and may resist certain changes that they view as regressive. There is a lot that can be done on both sides in terms of litigation. For my part, I would like to see the various stakeholders sit down and look for areas of agreement, and see what can be done to reach compromises. I suppose that makes me a starry-eyed optimist. Or maybe it just makes me a small “d” democrat. Take care, Jason


al November 10, 2016 at 5:03 pm

“I think it is pretty clear that we can ban Muslims…”

Do you mean can or cannot?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:18 pm

He can ban Muslims from coming here. Just like we specifically banned other groups (most famously, people from China). Deporting people who are already here is another story, as such people have various Constitutional protections. Take care, Jason


Kate November 9, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Hello Jason. Soon in my country will be the election for a new president, I would like to now if it affects my asylum case which is in pending ?
Thank you very much !


Kate November 10, 2016 at 2:30 am

The question is: does it affects my asylum case which is in pending if I am going to vote from USA?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:31 pm

I assume you mean that you will vote in your home country election (not the US election). I do not know whether that would affect your asylum case. I suppose it depends on the basis for your asylum claim. You might want to go over the specifics of your case with a lawyer before you vote. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 7:35 am

It may. If conditions in your country change, it will impact your case. If your country becomes safer, it will be more difficult to win. If conditions get worse, it may be easier to win. However, this does not always hold true – it depends on your case and the reason you need asylum. Take care, Jason


Moe November 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm

How about arab atheist and agnostics who filled for asylum in the states?? Will they still be effected ?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 7:34 am

Because we do not know what changes are proposed, I do not know. However, the law protects religious minorities from persecution, and it would take an act of Congress to change that. Take care, Jason


Tina November 9, 2016 at 8:22 pm

My teenage daughter woke up at 6:am,rushed to my room and amidst tears said”mommy guess what”? He won.. Do I still have a future here? She is so scared that my words of encouragement are not making any difference.She wishes there is a country closer that we can drive to and seek help.


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 7:33 am

She is not alone. The main point for people who are physically in the US is that there are layers of protection and various options available. Also, there are many people who will fight to keep her here. My advice to my clients in this situation will be to carry on, and wait to see what happens, so we have a better idea of the threat and how to respond. As they say, Worry is the pain before the wound. For now, I am in wait-and-see mode. Take care, Jason


Amit November 9, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Excellent post, Jason. Thanks a lot. Do you think there are going to be discussions on this topic in the upcoming stakeholders meeting with Asylum office. What are the topics you plan to or suggest your colleagues to discuss which may improve somethings at the office level?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 7:29 am

I am quite sure there will be a lot of discussion about the new President. However, we do not yet know his actual plan with regard to asylum, so it is all speculation. I have discussed some ideas for improvements in a several previous posts, for example on November 12, 2015 and June 26, 2014. Take care, Jason


Robert November 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Hey, what’s your thoughts about seekers with LGBT cases?


Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

On July 20, 2016, I wrote a post describing the Republican Party platform. It is a bit vague on asylum, but it can be read to mean that Republicans will try to limit or eliminate the “particular social group” category. This is the category under which LGBT asylum seekers fall. To eliminate this category would require Congressional action – and this might be difficult. But to limit the category would likely not require Congressional action (though limiting the category would certainly result in lawsuits challenging such an action). I have a feeling that LGBT people will not be a major target here, but we shall see once the new Administration starts proposing specific policies. Take care, Jason


Khayal November 9, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Jason, thank you so much for such a detailed article, and relief – as I am sure some of us thought things were much worse than you laid out here. One question though on those, who already filed for a greencard based on granted asylum (after one year of asylum granting). With Trump coming to power, can such ‘applications to Register Permanent Residence’ be sent to immigration court, which based on how you explained might happen with asylum offices?


Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 6:06 pm

The federal government has a lot of power over immigrants. But we have signed on to international treaties that obligate us to protect refugees. These treaties are now part of US law. To change the law, Mr. Trump would need the cooperation of Congress. However, he could do a lot procedurally to make life difficult for non-citizen Muslims. That is within his power. There are many non-profit organizations that are ready to assist, through legal action. I suppose we will see how he implements his promises, and then we will see what can be done to help people. There are many people–lawyers and non-lawyers–including me, who will not sit idle if our neighbors and friends are being targeted for deportation by the government. There are also many good people within the government who are committed to following the law. Take care, Jason


Kate Sugarman November 9, 2016 at 6:13 pm

I want to know what I can do for the hundreds and thousands of people in the DC area who are in the horrible back log of asylum pending


Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Not much. The Asylum Office is trying, but they lack resources. I suppose if Mr. Trump blocks everyone at the border, this potentially could get backlogged asylum cases moving. It’s kind of a Sophie’s Choice, I guess. Though probably the more likely scenario is that he will try to block refugees at the border and affirmative asylum seekers.


Khayal November 10, 2016 at 10:42 am

Thanks Justin. But my question is this: after one year from being granted asylum, I filed for greencard 5 months ago. My greencard hasn’t arrived yet. If I don’t have it until 1/20/17, can he do something to make it hard/impossible for me to get my greencard? Or I am off the hook, as someone who was interviewed and approved almost 2 years ago?


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

He pay be able to block you from getting a green card, but it would likely require a change in the law. Congress may change the law, but such a move is not easy, and I doubt that asylees seeking their green card is going to be a big priority. Hopefully, you will get the card soon, per the usual (but slow) system. Take care, Jason


Khayal November 11, 2016 at 1:16 am

Thank you so much, Justin

Al November 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Do you think the current rhetoric toward muslims is worse than post 9-11? Trump definitely helped fuel it and I feel what we witnessed yesterday is an affirmation that so many Americans feel the same way.


Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 6:02 pm

In my opinion it is worse now. In part, that is a function of events (ISIS, terror attacks in Europe, more refugees in the US) and in part it is a result of partisan media outlets generating fear against Muslims. Some of that is legitimate, but much of it is based on outright lies (and I have written on that topic several times). Also, of course, it is the difference between President Bush and Mr. Trump. We can only hope that Mr. Trump will gain a sense of responsibility for his words that has been lacking previously. Take care, Jason


Kate Sugarman November 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm

I will do anything and everything in my power to help asylum seekers, their friends and their families. I have performed forensic evaluations on hundreds of asylum seekers, documenting their scars, to help their evidence and their cases. I vow to do even more evaluations in order to help as many asylum seekers as possible. If I have to work at 3 am I will. I will never give up the struggle for asylum seekers and for justice. If we give up, then Trump gets his ultimate victory.


Rain November 9, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Thank you, Kate. It fills my heart to know good people like you still exist in this country and I know things will work out for us (pending asylees/asylees/refugees) eventually. This is a stressful and terrifying time, but we can only hope that this clown will not live up to his twisted promises.


Khayal November 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Doctor Sugarman is one of a kind! We are blessed to have her.


Bef. November 9, 2016 at 4:34 pm

@Dr. Sugarman: Thank you very very very much for your usual invaluable support; and kindly appreciate what you have been doing for asylum seekers (their friends and their families) from forensic evaluations to health care services and consultation.

I honestly cannot express how we are grateful to have #wonderful, #sympathetic, #caring and #good people #like you during such a scary time………

I would like to acknowledge your kindness, extraordinary, assistance, sacrifices, encouragements and support at every moment in this stressful time. God Bless You, #Dr. Sugarman!


Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Thank you – You have assisted some of my clients and your work has always been excellent (and very helpful to the cases). Perhaps you would consider writing a blog post about your experience evaluating client injuries. If you have any interest, please let me know. Take care, Jason


Kate Sugarman November 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

I would be very interested in writing a blog post. Let’s talk so I can find out what I can do that will be the most helpful, thanks


Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 6:15 pm

I will send you an email….


Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

I think he could find a way to do that, but advocacy groups would sue to stop it. My guess is that this will not happen, but legally, I think he may have the power to block citizenship for such people. However, I have not looked at the law on this, and so I am not sure, but it is a concern.


Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:17 pm

You and she should also recognize that there are many many people in the US who support you, and will do everything we can to help. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow November 25, 2016 at 9:44 am

If you sent an email to me, I will respond next week. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

If you are in the US, you can apply for asylum at any time. You must file the application within one year of arriving here. But this has nothing to do with the I-130 your brother-in-law filed. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 7:41 am

Changing the Constitution is very difficult, but the Court interprets it and they can do that in ways that are restrictive towards immigrants. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow November 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

I recommend you talk to the school or talk to a lawyer who specializes in non-immigrant visas for help. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Let me modify this. The president has that power under INA section 208 (which deals with asylees). However, INA section 207 (which deals with refugees) allows for family members to join the principal applicant. It is not clear to me how Section 207 would apply to asylees, and if it does apply (which it might), then the president does not have the power to block relatives without changing the law, and to do that, he needs the cooperation of Congress.


Jason Dzubow November 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm

I believe that is part of the statute, so it is difficult for him to change. Take care, Jason


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