Notes from the Immigration Underground

by Jason Dzubow on November 22, 2016

Within hours of Donald Trump’s election, tens of thousands (literally) of lawyer across the country began organizing to oppose his anticipated policies, whatever those may be. Groups are forming on Facebook and meetings are being scheduled. It’s all very preliminary, but it’s quite clear that if Mr. Trump’s policies equal his harsh campaign rhetoric, attorneys across the U.S. will be prepared to contest those policies in court.

Lawyers are ready to fight for our clients.

Lawyers are ready to fight for our clients.

Of course, one key area of concern is immigration. Mr. Trump has vowed to build a wall, return Syrian refugees, deport criminal aliens, subject Muslim immigrants and visitors to “extreme vetting,” and end “catch and release” at the border.

At this point, it is quite unclear to me what he (1) will do, and (2) can do. Some actions against non-citizens are easier than others. For example, Mr. Trump can enact certain changes without Congressional involvement (diverting resources away from the asylum system, charging a (limited) fee for asylum, eliminating work permits for asylum applicants, and–to a large extent–restricting the definition of particular social group). Other changes require Congressional action (modifying the burden of proof on asylum seekers, blocking asylum seekers who came to the U.S. by passing through a third country, and reducing the one-year time period aliens have to file for asylum after they’ve entered the country). Finally, some changes would require a Constitutional amendment (eliminating due process for non-citizens). So where do lawyers come in? What can we do?

The way I see it, there are three broad areas where lawyers can help: Litigation, lobbying, and public relations. Let’s take a look at each:

Litigation: This is what (many) lawyers do. We represent our clients in court. As it stands now, most non-citizens in Immigration Court do not have an attorney. If deportation cases are stepped up, it’s unclear whether the Immigration Courts can handle the volume (currently, there are about 11,000,000 illegal aliens in the U.S. In FY 2015, the country’s Immigration Judge’s completed almost 200,000 cases. At that rate, it would take over 55 years to resolve the cases of everyone here unlawfully).

It’s well-established that aliens who have an attorney are more likely to win their cases. Indeed, unrepresented asylum seekers win their cases only about 9% of the time. Represented asylum seekers win nearly 50% of their cases. So hopefully, some of our organizational energy will go towards increasing the percentage of represented aliens by providing more pro bono and low bono services–currently, only about 2% of people in Immigration Court have pro bono representation. Perhaps we can also volunteer to present more know-your-rights presentations, so that aliens without lawyers can at least get some help with their cases.

Another benefit of more aliens actively fighting their cases is that it will require more government resources–and time–to deport them. This will slow the system down and prevent the government from deporting more people (normally, I would not consider “slowing the system down” as a “benefit,” but in these times, perhaps it is).

On a higher level is impact litigation–lawsuits to challenge policies that affect many immigrants. I imagine the national organizations, such as AILA, AIC, and the ACLU, among others, will take the lead here. They have the resources and the expertise. By supporting such organizations with our time and our donations, we aid their efforts to block egregious changes to our immigration system.

Lobbying: Lawyers can be effective lobbyists. We know the law, and we know how the law affects non-citizens and their families at the ground level. This type of hands-on experience allows us to talk to law-makers, at the national level, and also at the state and local levels.

Opponents of immigration and refugee admissions are known for their active and passionate lobbying, and we lawyers need to participate with pro-immigration groups to present the other side of the story. I am convinced that when lawmakers hear from real people–people like our clients and their family members–they can be moved. Indeed, before he was a candidate, Donald Trump met with Dream Act activists and told them, “You convinced me.” If such stories can impact Mr. Trump (at least temporarily), they may be able to affect our country’s legislators.

Public Relations: I’ve written about this before, but over the past 20+ years, there has been a growing disconnect between the development of the immigration law, on the one hand, and the “will of the People,” on the other. Through litigation and presidential action, laws have been expanded to benefit more and more aliens–victims of FGM and domestic violence, Dream Act immigrants, unaccompanied minors–without input from “the People” (i.e., Congress).

As one who represents non-citizens, I certainly will not apologize for helping my clients. That is my duty as an attorney. However, I feel that we as immigration advocates need to work harder to build support for more pro-immigrant policies. This involves making our case directly to the American people. If our countrymen had a better idea about who our clients are, why they come here, and how they benefit our nation, I believe that many of them would favor a more open policy towards immigrants.

As I said in the beginning, all this is a quite preliminary. Although Mr. Trump’s rhetoric–and some of his cabinet choices–seem ominous, we really do not know his plans. Nevertheless, it makes sense to start organizing now, so we are prepared for any eventuality.

In his play Henry the Sixth, Shakespeare’s character Dick the Butcher famously intones, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” The context of that quote is often forgotten. Dick is a follower of Jack Cade, a pretender to the throne of England and a populist. For Jack to take control, law and order must be subverted, and this requires getting the lawyers out of the way. In our own time too, we attorneys stand between a populist and his possible victims, but judging by the early organizing efforts, I have little doubt that we will stand firm.

 

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Eliot March 8, 2017 at 2:00 am

Hi Jason, my name Samuel and I am from Ethiopia. I have removal withholding status. I report/check-in at ICE every year. I will be check-in sometimes May this year. I have a DUI (misdemeanor charge 8 years ago), do you think ICE will detain/deport me. I heard from the news ICE detained people when they show up for check-in, but the news doesn’t mentions about the detainee’s current immigration status.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 11:29 pm

If you have withholding of removal, you cannot be deported (unless you have permanent status to live in a country other than Ethiopia – then you could be deported to that country). Technically, you can be detained, but the government can only hold you for a limited time, and since they cannot deport you, I think it is very unlikely that they would detain you. Take care, Jason

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Benja January 14, 2017 at 1:17 am

Hello, Jason how are you today? and thanks for the great work done. i am writing to make an inquiry. I submitted my I-589 application on Dec 9th 2016. its now a month and few days, i have not received any notice from USCIS. when i tried to reach the USCIS number, i was told my file should have been transferred to San Francisco though I sent it to Nebraska. what do you think about this. its a month now with no notice. Should i have made errors in my application? kindly help me

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Jason Dzubow January 17, 2017 at 7:35 am

You may want to contact your local asylum office to check whether they have the case. You can find your contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Also, make sure you sent the application to the correct mailing address. Take care, Jason

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mili December 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm

Hi Jason…How are you doing?
I have a pending asylum case and my question is am I eligible to have my driving license, California state ID and soon after I get my EAD and social security number?
Thank you…..

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Jason Dzubow December 11, 2016 at 8:07 am

I do not know for sure, but once you have the EAD, you should be able to get your license. In some places, people get the license with only the receipt from their asylum case. Take care, Jason

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Mike December 7, 2016 at 4:28 am

Jason,
I have previously sought your advice on this forum and you with speed advised thus helped. I am very grateful and I always and almost everyday check on this forum on what you post and your response to other people who seek your advice and I always learn something new. I have to start by I have a pending asylum. My question is not related to DACA although my opinion is that the Trump presidency will not change much (according to my opinion). I think we should all relax and always be positive else life will be very difficult for us. I still don’t have my EAD but I know I will get it and despite one individual having the power to terminate it, it will not be terminated as it will cause thousands of us with genuine cases to suffer and have no one to depend to despite our cases delaying for years. I have been living on my savings from my country of birth but soon this money will be over and I will have to seek ways and means to live here. He said he would end DACA during the campaigns and still have pwers to end EAD’s for pending asylum, but same as he said he would end ObamaCare I don’t think there is a plan to deal with thousands of DACA beneficiaries and asylum applicants who will now be jobless with no place to return after being in the US for years. He might think of “self deportation” by making lives of asylees and DACA recipients difficult but we have gone through a lot and can persevere until our cases are determined. So self deportation is not certain. I honestly don’t think deportation (same case with the wall), though it sounds politically correct to Trump’s political base is an option for the US government for the millions of immigrants living in this country.
My advice to the individuals who have applied for asylum is that they should avoid crime, be responsible citizens, learn American culture and language and get some educational knowledge and skills here in the US despite their asylum cases. On education and skills, they can go to the local community colleges and apply for courses of their choices. They can apply for numerous scholarships in case they have difficulty paying their tuition fees.
I think that despite the challenges to the incoming government uncertainties, with proper plan to empower oneself we can make it. Lets be positive and wait and see while hoping for the best and while we do our best to make the best out of what we have already. Thank you so much for this forum.

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Hyme December 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Hello Mike,

Thank you for your words. They are great!!
An asylum seeker can’t go to school. They don’t have any required papers. Can they? If yes I would like to know how it is possible.

Thank you,

Hyme

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Jason Dzubow December 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

If you have the EAD, you should be able to go to school. Also, for certain programs, you can attend without any documentation (as long as you pay the school). Talk to the school and they should be able to advise you. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow December 7, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Thank you for the comment. I think you are right to remain positive, and there are some positive signs, especially related to DACA. As they say, “Worry is the pain before the wound.” Nevertheless, it is good to start thinking about plans in case things get bad. Take care, Jason

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dere December 6, 2016 at 12:12 am

Hi Janson…I have one question…
I applied for asylum before 6 months. Last week I submitted my declaration with other documents by going to the office but in the cover letter I made a mistake of zip code ,all others being correct. Will they file my documents based on my A number which I wrote it in the cover letter or I have to go again to correct the mistake ?

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Jason Dzubow December 6, 2016 at 7:27 am

They should match your documents to your case using the A number. You might want to submit a change of address form to them, AR-11 (available at http://www.uscis.gov) in order to make sure they have your correct address, but otherwise, it should be fine. Take care, Jason

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Hyme December 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

Hello Jason,
I have a question please. If I send my initial EAD application without a copy of my passport and I received 3 days later a notice of acceptance of my application does that mean everything is fine?

Thank you,

Hyme.

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Jason Dzubow December 5, 2016 at 7:34 am

No – it just means they received your application. If they need additional evidence, they will send you a letter later. You do not necessarily need a passport to get your EAD, so they may not even request it. We shall see. Take care, Jason

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Hyme December 4, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Hello

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Aduye December 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Hi Jason how are you doing….
I have a question regarding expedition of interview. can I expedite my asylum on account of education by showing them admission letters? What are the acceptable reasons for expedition?
Thanks …..

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Jason Dzubow December 4, 2016 at 11:52 am

You can try, but in my opinion, that is a weak reason compared to people with major health problems or who are separated from family members. In any case, there is no organized system to expedite, and if you ask, they might do it. Take care, Jason

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Vivian December 1, 2016 at 2:16 am

Hi Jason,
I applied for a political asylum in Sep 2015. My case is still pending, my husband outside of USA, but he has a b1/b2 visa. Can he visited to me?and Does he has a problem in us border? Thank you.
Sorry, my English do not well.

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Jason Dzubow December 1, 2016 at 7:40 am

He can visit you. He might have a problem when he arrives here. If he has a return ticket and other evidence that he will leave the US after his visit (evidence of his job, property, children or other family relations in his country), that may help him enter if he is questioned at the airport. The worst case is that he would have his visa canceled and then have to return to his country (or he could seek asylum at the airport, but then he will probably be detained). Take care, Jason

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Adam November 30, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Mr. Jason I was wondering wether its possible to put new policy where they transfer all pending asylum cases to the court and hold all work permits until decision is made regarding the those asylees which means after years ahead ?

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Jason Dzubow December 1, 2016 at 7:34 am

My reading of the law is that Trump has the power to do this. It will not be easy, and I do not know whether he wants to, but he probably can. Take care, Jason

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James November 30, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Hey Jason, I have a question on very different topic :”We both have been on f1 status and while my opt is still valid until July 2018, my spouse’ s status is expering in 2 months. We applied for asylum in July 2013 , had our interview in May 2016 and so far not decision made. So she has applied for a change of status to get a f2 status so she remains on status. The question now is can the f2 status be denied because of our pending asylum. Also I’ve been sponsored for a green card thru my job and its only on the early stage of the process. Another question is can she stay out of status here while the asylum case is pending and still get included in the green card process or she will have to leave the country? If she leaves, will she be able to get the GC when my GC through job get approved or she will have to wait after I get it and then only I can apply for her?”

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Jason Dzubow December 1, 2016 at 7:33 am

The F-2 could be denied based on the pending asylum, but if she is a dependent on your application, I suspect the F-2 will be approved (assuming she meets the requirements for the visa). For the green card, if she goes out of status, she will probably have to leave the US, but she should be able to get the GC at the same time as you (though she will have to do it overseas). I recommend you talk to a lawyer about the specifics of the case to see whether she can find a way to remain in-status, and thus more easily get the GC. Of course, if asylum is ever granted, this problem becomes moot. Take care, Jason

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James December 1, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for your reply… So in case she’s out of status because the f2 is denied, would you recommend for her to stay here while the asylum case is pending or it’d be better for her to leave right away? She’s allowed to work here with her EAD from the pending asylum case.
By the way, she’s my dependent on the asylum case..

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Jason Dzubow December 2, 2016 at 7:25 am

I do not know your situation, so I cannot really say. Normally, people prefer to remain here, but you can talk to a lawyer about the specifics to make sure you make the best choice. Take care, Jason

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Ada November 30, 2016 at 4:55 am

Hi Jason…. I came here with F1 visa. My last name in my I 94 is FNU. Can I use my correct name in filling I 589? What effects does it bring to have reversed name between I94 and asylum application?

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2016 at 7:44 am

You should use your correct name on the form. On page one of the form, where it says “Other names used” (or something like that), you should list your name as it appears on the I-95 (with “FNU”, which means First Name Unknown). Take care, Jason

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dere November 28, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Hi Jason how are you doing,,,,I have a question regarding Asylum Clock. If someone is interviewed before 150 days of his asylum filing,and if his decision is pending, can he apply for work permit at his 150 days? I heard the clock stops until the decision comes is that true?

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 11:40 pm

That is not true. If you attend the interview, and do not cause delay, the clock keeps moving and you can apply for a work permit. We have done that many times for people. Take care, Jason

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Louis November 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm

When you order a delivery pizza for the family, it is impossible that you can imagine they might take 2, 3 or even 10 years to deliver. In case they would have delays in delivering, they usually let you know how long would it takes, otherwise you and the family will be striving to death

I am not pretty sure why asylum system is a bit more fragile than ordering a pizza!!!! I have been pending a decision since 20 months, and I am literally hopeless of having an answer back. I don’t even have the right to know when my pizza is going to be delivered. And yes sir, we (my family) started striving to death,, not striving for food, but striving for stability, striving for somebody, some country, some law, some human who can offer a protection and sense of safty. That won’t cost them anything, we are already professionals and know how to work and produce values to the culture we sought its protection

I don’t know if they can even imagine how scary it gets when reading information and rumors about cancelling EADs, TPSs, asylum system.. whatsoever..

However, I definitely know the whole thing is a bit more complicated than “Ordering a pizza” game. It might be difficult to be understood for somebody with my humble intellectual skills. Somebody with ultimate fear that even scared from exposing my real name on this great “The Asylumist” blog.

I am alive now, I am breathing and sharing my feelings and fears with somebody like “Jason Dzubow”, who knows and feels people like us. But not pretty sure if I would be breathing few years later, when I will be sent back to Syria, or cancelling my EAD which will lead me to leave the US and get back to my only home gateway nowadays “Syria” as a result

from now up until those upcoming days, we do appreciate your peaceful prayers, and do appreciate your efforts in opposing whatever hostile laws coming up

Thank you Jason

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Louis November 28, 2016 at 7:18 pm

* Starving, not striving.. excuse my beginner skills in English..

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

You should hear my Arabic. It is very shwaya…

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Hopefully, your family is with you in the US. If so, I advise my clients to live as if they will win their cases. If not, they will go crazy. The chances of you being deported to Syria are very low. Even if your asylum case is denied, you can fight the case in court, and then appeal. We have done many Syrian cases. While many people have faced delays, all the cases with decision were granted. If it were me, I would have a lot of trouble follow this advice, as I like to feel settled, but hopefully it helps. It is really the only way to survive the process. Take care, Jason

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Basil November 29, 2016 at 11:15 am

Jason , I think once we get the 150 days work permit we should live a normal life as if we are citizens and no matter what trumps rhetoric statements he can’t deport people so easily

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2016 at 7:31 am

They cannot deport people easily, and I do think you can live a relatively normal life if you have the work permit. Take care, Jason

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Ayman November 27, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Hello Mr. Jason,
I had my asylum interview three weeks ago. The asylum officer gold me that they will notify me by mail. When I literally asked” how long will it takes.” The officer answered ” it will be for a while” . What does it mean “for awhile”? And is it good that they will send my decision by mail instead of coming to pick up my decision ?
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 7:36 am

We have had clients waiting for over 2 years since the interview (and still waiting). Most people wait less than a year, and hopefully, you will get a decision soon, but there is no way to predict. Also, people from Muslim countries tend to wait longer than people from non-Muslim countries. The fact that you are receiving a decision by mail is not a good or bad sign in terms of whether you will be granted asylum. Take care, Jason

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James Dan November 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Jason,
What’s the ACLU’s argument if Trump’s administration severely limits the definition of “particular social group” and increases the standard of “credible fear interviews,” and good luck pointing to international agreements or treaties. Doing these two things would be a way to speed along cases in immigration courts. It might also prevent some of the “slowing down,” as you say, that would occur as every single detained alien suddenly claiming asylum in a last ditch effort to stay in the country.
There was a spokesman for Trump’s administration (or one of his advisory groups, don’t remember which; I thought I bookmarked the website, but alas, can’t seem to find it) that claimed asylum should be based on “more than” criminal or gang violence threats. I immediately thought of Central Americans, who are usually claiming the PSG of gang/crime victims and is something you warned about.
Another front will be on what constitutes a “crime.” Activists will argue that only illegal aliens with “major” criminal convictions should be targeted by Trump, and will claim that crimes such as DUIs, battery, or forgery are “minor” crimes that shouldn’t be deportable (there have been recent news articles where criminal aliens make such a claim). Others claim that only those aliens with felonies or significant misdemeanors (which seems to mirror DACA requirements) should be targeted for deportation. For Trump, or at least those advisors floating among his periphery, it seems they take the word “criminal alien” to mean any alien convicted of a crime. This last position is what I would consider to be the correct definition of criminal alien. But there is also one guy claiming that the mere arrest for a crime is enough to qualify as a criminal alien. Can’t say I’m willing to go that far. Given the broad power given to Congress to control immigration, I don’t know how far litigation over which crimes are, or are not valid to make someone a criminal alien would work, as an illegal alien is always subject to deportation-criminal record or not. But I am curious as to how you would personally define “criminal alien”

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 7:20 am

I do think there is a possible fight brewing related to PSG – federal courts have already helped define what a PSG is (for example, many – maybe all – federal courts have held that family is a PSG), so there might be room for the ACLU or other groups to resist a change to the definition of PSG. But I think for the most part, that is a losing battle since the Executive has broad authority over interpreting immigration law, and thus over what constitutes a PSG. I would be surprised if cases like A-C-R-G- survive the Trump Administration. As for criminal alien, I don’t really have a definition (sorry for the cop out). As it stands, under the current law, aliens with certain convictions can still obtain immigration benefits. Congressional action will be needed to change that (though IJs could be told to tighten the restrictions on the discretionary aspect of their decisions, and then even aliens with waivable convictions could still be removed – maybe something along the lines of Matter of Jean, though that decision is pretty poorly articulated). I certainly don’t think people without convictions are criminal aliens, and I have seen enough poor representation in criminal court, or instances where aliens pled to a crime when they may have been innocent, to be cautious. I guess if I were the decider, I would be more lenient towards victimless crimes (possession) or crimes that are a consequence of unlawful status (driving without a license), but not towards violent or dangerous crimes, including DWI. Take care, Jason

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Tina November 28, 2016 at 9:39 pm

Hi Jason,

Your heart is simply made of gold.
I was touched by your humble and empathetic response to the Syrian about his English. I speak good English but get ridiculed for my accent..
What is A.C.R.G?
The people we are afraid of do not have hearts like yours.All they see are people taking away their jobs and money..They do not see helpless women and children. They do not see Children(less than 9) who were chauffer driven to school but now walk 1.9 miles to and fro school in the rain,sun or winter cold. They do not see people who had successful businesses/careers, but now clean bathrooms and homes for a living.
They do not see educated people who get laughed at everyday, because they speak English with country accents.

Finally, they do not see us..We gave everything up,hoping to find peace and acceptance here.They do not know that the thin line between life and death is how they finally throw us out. I am just waiting to die or live. I have no where else to go
.I have frightened/fragile kids. Everyday, I wake up and contemplate the best way to die and who to hand the frightened kids to. Do they see abused/rejected/depressed/frightened/honest/educated people who just want a chance to find a new meaning to life? I could go on and on.
Your blog gives me hope,Jason. Keep up the good work.

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 11:39 pm

ACRG is a case that allows certain victims of domestic violence to possibly qualify for asylum (many cases use initials, so they keep the person’s name confidential). I understand your feeling, and I think you are correct that many people do not see refugees for what they are. They do not want to see this, or they are frightened, or hateful, or something. But there are many people who do understand (to the extent that anyone who is not in your shoes can understand), and though they are often silent, they are with you. I agree with Jon Stewart – this is the same America today as it was before November 8. And many people will be fighting to help refugees and others who are being threatened. Try to see the helpers, and not the haters, although that is not easy, as the haters are louder. Anyway, I wish you well. Take care, Jason

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Basil November 26, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Hello , you mentioned in your article here that he can eliminate work permits for Ashlee’s with congress , but in your previous articles you said he needs congressional approval to do that .can you clarify please

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Basil November 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Asylees*

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Basil November 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Sorry ..I meant trump can eliminate work permits for asylees WITHOUT congress

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 7:09 am

If I said that previously, it is incorrect. As I read the law, the new Administration can eliminate work permits for people with asylum pending, and it does not need Congress to do that. I hope they will not, but they can. Take care, Jason

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scopa November 26, 2016 at 1:27 am

Hi Sam, I read on the guideline for asylum immigration officers that passing through third country doesn’t affect your application. It has problem only if you try to settle in third country which is defined as obtaining permanent resident status; applying for asylum or staying for extended period and earning income.
I hope you can find this document online by google search!

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm

You are correct, but Congress could change this law. It has been proposed previously, but never been acted on. If Trump wants to restrict asylum seekers, he could try this. That is what I was referring to in the article. Take care, Jason

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Sam November 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Dear Jason,
Happy thanks giving,
By “cancelling asylum to someone who passed through a third country”.
Does it include someone who landed, for a transit flight in Europe in order to get his flight to the US?

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 6:37 pm

This is just a proposal that has been around for years by people who want to limit asylum. It is not yet a law. If it does become law, I do not know whether it would affect people who come to the US and have a transit flight. Take care, Jason

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Ruslan November 23, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Hi! Happy ThanksGiving ! I have an one question. I have submitted application two weeks ago for me and my spouse. I am principal applicant and my wife is just gonna be added in my application as dependent. So I got rejected today and received for that reason:

This office cannot add the applicant as a dependent spouse/child on the asylum application submitted because the principal asylum applicant referenced (by the applicant) is either listed as the dependent spouse or child on another asylum application. Therefore, the principal applicant named on the application is required to file a new asylum application on his or her own behalf before anyone can be added to it as a dependent.

so I just do not understand reason for rejection. I have submitted three copies of mine application and one extra for her but in my wife’s application I filled only part A and page 9 because we are asking for asylum on my behalf.
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2016 at 11:54 am

I am not sure I understand exactly why they rejected it. Normally, when we file an application like yours, we submit the original and one copy of the I-589 and entire passport for the principal, one copy of the page 9 of the I-589 completed and signed by the dependent with the dependent’s photo, a copy of the dependent’s passport (bio and US visa page and I-94 only), one copy of the principal’s I-589, and a copy of the marriage certificate and English translation. We submit other evidence later (proof the persecution, etc), but that can be submitted with the initial filing if you want. In your case, since I do not understand the basis of the rejection, you may want to show it to a lawyer before you resubmit. Take care, Jason

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Ruslan November 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Thanks

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Patti Lyman November 25, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Jason, while I always include a copy for each dependent of the full application, with the dependent’s passport photo attached, I have never had the dependent actually sign the application.There has never been a problem. Is this a new requirement?

patti

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 8:37 pm

I always send a copy of the principals I-589 and page 9 of the I-589 signed by the dependent. I started doing this in probably 1954, and have not looked at the rules since then, since it works, but maybe I need to take another look. I just hate to have to learn something new. I hope all is well. Take care, Jason

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Yulia November 23, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Good evening there! Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone! Mr. Jason, I applied for a political asylum in May 2013. In May 2016 I was interviewed finally. The officer was a nice man. But I had been waiting for him for a long time. Interview was scheduled for 10 AM, and he met me only at 1PM. There were nor so many questions on the testimony, and I was good at every answer and there was nothing wrong said against my testimony. He asked me to write him a letter if I did have anything else to tell him about what happened after I left my country and why I am still scared to be returned. I wrote him everything and brought additional documents to him a week later. So in 2 weeks there was no answer given to me. And 6 month have already passed. I was twice in the office and they told me to wait. What should I do to expedite my decision?

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Ella November 23, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Hi, Yulia! Could you please provide us , what AO is it?

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2016 at 11:48 am

There is probably not much you can do, other than what you are dong (inquiring once in a while). I suppose you can also contact the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right), but given that your delay is not so long when compared with others, I am not sure whether they will help. But there is no harm in asking them. Good luck, Jason

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Amit November 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm

I heard that the House Republicans sent a letter today to every government agency asking them to halt all rulemaking until President-electDonald Trump takes office. Shall it play any role in pending decisions or not?

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Jason Dzubow November 23, 2016 at 7:33 am

I heard something about that too. It is idiotic, but it should have no effect on a pending asylum case. Take care, Jason

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Wael November 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm

I was wondering what will happen to the TPS program. Do you think Donald Trump or the Republicans will go after it? Is it easy to terminate the program? Thanks for writing this article.

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Jason Dzubow November 22, 2016 at 6:01 pm

I believe it is easy to terminate. Whether they will do that or not, I do not know. I am not sure what the people with TPS will do if that happens (maybe claim asylum), and it may be better for the government to leave them alone, as they are not going to be able to deport such people anyway (depending on the country, of course – it would be easy to deport Salvadorans, but difficult to deport Syrians, for example). Take care, Jason

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Wael November 23, 2016 at 3:07 am

That just scary and puts a lot of people in uncertainty including myself. I applied for tps when my country was put on the list. It expires in five months and I don’t have any other status to fall on. I really hope no one pays attention to the program because it helps people where their countries are war torn. I can’t go back even if I want to. I will have a little faith that Republicans are not heartless, but it’s definitely something that they might do. Do you think they will face any opposition at all? I really appreciate your reply. And thank you.

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Jason Dzubow November 23, 2016 at 7:41 am

I think there will be tremendous opposition to eliminating TPS. I think it is one thing for them to make promises in the abstract to their anti-immigrant based, but it is far different to implement those promises. The human suffering will be huge and it will be very public, and I expect there will be a strong counter-reaction. So I am hopeful that it will be very difficult politically to implement some of the anti-immigrant ideas that are under consideration. Take care, Jason

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