Hateful Words and Helpful Actions

by Jason Dzubow on February 16, 2017

After nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered on September 11, 2001, President Bush spoke to the nation and to the world. He assured us—Muslim and non-Muslim—that American was not at war with Islam. Would that President Trump had spoken similar words before instituting his immigration ban on seven majority-Muslim countries. But that is not Mr. Trump’s style.

Lord of the Zings: The President’s hateful words may be worse than his harmful EOs.

The resulting firestorm may have been pleasing to the President’s most ardent supporters, who seem to relish the sight of suffering families and damaged government institutions, but for those of us concerned about national security, morality, and the rule of law, the President’s Executive Orders (“EOs”) were a frightening development.

The problem, though, was not so much the EOs themselves, the effect of which is not immediately obvious, and in any case, portions of which have been blocked by the courts, but rather the divisive rhetoric attached to the orders. Let me explain.

The EOs, which are currently blocked by the courts, would bar nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya from entering the United States for 90 days. All refugees would be barred from entering the country for 120 days, and Syrian refugees would be barred indefinitely. On its face, this is not a Muslim ban. If you are from one of the listed countries, you are barred from entry, regardless of your religion, and if you are a Muslim person from another country, you are not barred from entry. But to me, this is a case of “That’s what it says; that’s not what it means.”

So what does it mean? First, in the context of campaign statements disparaging to Muslims, and some statements by Trump surrogates, it’s easy to see why many are interpreting the EOs as a first step towards a more general Muslim ban. Rumors are swirling that the list of countries will be expanded, to include more Muslim nations, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. In addition, the EOs direct the government to track and publish information about crimes committed by aliens, with a particular emphasis on people convicted of terrorism-related offenses, people who have been “radicalized after entry,” and “gender-based violence against women or honor killings.” Further, the EOs call for a “realignment” of refugee admissions to focus on refugees who are from a “minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” It’s hard not to view all this as targeting Muslims.

But perhaps I’ve gotten it all wrong. There have been counter-arguments advanced by the President’s defenders. After all, the EOs do not directly refer to Muslims, and the listed nations are either chaotic (Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya), malignant (Iran) or both (Sudan, Syria). Also, as the EOs require, we should be keeping track of aliens who engage in criminal behavior or who support or commit terrorism (indeed, I myself have argued for such transparency in this blog).

But here is why I don’t buy the counter-arguments and why I believe the EOs are designed to target Muslims: The President is very aware that many people view the orders as a Muslim ban, but he has said nothing to allay the fears of Muslims and immigrants in the U.S. or our Muslim allies abroad. He could easily have issued these same exact EOs and avoided the chaos by better explaining his intentions. He chose to not do that. Maybe it’s me projecting, but I can’t help but feel that he and his core staff are getting some sadistic pleasure watching the suffering and confusion that they are causing. I imagine they also view the mess they’ve made as evidence that they are fulfilling their promises to get tough on immigration and to protect the homeland.

It almost goes without saying that things could have been done differently. The ban could have been explained as a necessary and temporary policy adjustment to enhance our national security. President Trump could have expressed his sorrow that such orders were needed, and he could have reassured people that the ban was only temporary. He could also have made some positive statements about immigrants and Muslims, especially those who are serving with us in the war on terror. But he did not. So all of us are left to wonder whether this is a short-term measure targeting only the listed countries, or whether it is the beginning of something bigger. For American Muslims and immigrants, and for our allies abroad, the uncertainty of the EOs is probably worse than the EOs themselves.

The question, though, is what do we do from here? At this point, it would be naïve to expect any comforting rhetoric, or even common decency, from our President, so I think it is up to us—immigrants, advocates, and their supporters—to craft a response to the new reality.

For me, the protests are a good start. They show our solidarity and our strength (indeed, this is precisely why we held the Refugee Ball last month). There is some comfort in knowing that you are not alone and that the larger community is ready to defend you, and refugees and immigrants in our country are certainly not alone. Tens of thousands of protesters in the streets and at airports have demonstrated as much. We also see this as hundreds of elected representatives and other leaders have been speaking out in defense of our non-citizen neighbors.

Lawsuits—such as the lawsuits by the ACLU and several state governments—are also crucial. Thus far, they have blocked some of the most offensive portions of the EOs. The lawsuits show that the protections of our laws and Constitution extend to all non-citizen in our country and quite possible to some non-citizens who are outside our country. This will, I hope, provide some comfort to those in the Administration’s crosshairs.

Legislation in various states and municipalities is also important. Such action can serve to shield non-citizens from some provisions of the orders, particularly those that seek to encourage (or more accurately, coerce) local governments to help enforcement federal immigration law. They also potentially help build momentum for more positive legislative change on a national level.

Finally, volunteering to assist non-citizens–with housing, food, job search, English–helps such people integrate into our communities and feel more welcome in our country. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, you might try contacting a local non-profit organization.

While these actions cannot fully allay the fear felt by refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, Muslims, and many others in our country, they are all signs of the strong resistance President Trump faces to his policies and to his divisive world view. As we move through this difficult time, we must continue to resist hatred and work to support each other.

{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

Sash February 26, 2017 at 7:26 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you very much for all your information. I applied for an asylum in December 2014. And finally I received an interview with USCIS Bethpage NewYork on January 31st 2017. I did have the interview, and on the decision day I was referred to an immigration judge. But the referral did not have an particular date and time, I know the immigrations courts have a backlog. Just wanted to know, how long will it take at least to get an letter from courts ? months , years ? Also, My bother and Father have being granted asylum in 2014, I didn’t fill with them because I did not have a threat. Prior to 2014 December 2014 I was a F1 student. After I went to Sri Lanka in 2013 I was threatened and I fear to go back. Then I decided to fill it in 2014. How can I get a earlier date Json and also the same judge, and may be I can link the cases with my fathers and brothers ?
PS – I am 26years old
Thank you again.

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Jason Dzubow February 26, 2017 at 11:14 pm

It could take months, sometimes longer, but usually it is only a few months maximum before you get the first court date. You should have a lawyer in court, and the lawyer can ask the judge for an earlier date, but lawyers have little control over that in most cases. As for linking with your family members, it sounds like their cases are finished, so you can link with them. You can give copies of their asylum approvals to the judge as part of your case. We usually do that and it is usually very helpful to your case. Your lawyer can better advise you about that. Take care, Jason

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jawad saleem February 23, 2017 at 11:01 am

sir one of my known person told me that he filed case in january 2016 and last week he got call for interview and he did not prepare his case well as he was thinking that due to backlog of cases his case will b heard after sometime and same is the case with me and i filed in march 2016 what do you think it is possible that uscis bypass the cases and my turn came soon too kindly guide me in this regard thanks jawad

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

I do not think so. The person either expedited his case or was a juvenile or did not tell you the truth about the time frame. You can see the time frame for people if you check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. Take care, Jason

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Jamal February 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

Hi Jason,
The Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin is not being updated since Trump came to power. Is it an indication that something is going on at USCIS or am I worrying too much?

Thanks
Jamal

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John February 23, 2017 at 11:04 am

It always get updated with delay. One time (from Sep to Nov) they didn’t update for 3 months. So don’t panic

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 2:13 pm

I doubt it is related to Trump, as they are not so good about updating it. Time will tell. Take care, Jason

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gunjan February 23, 2017 at 12:11 am

hi, my name is gunjan, from india. right now in Houston Texas. I have applied an asylum on 28th October, 2016. I applied by myself. I printed the I 589 form, filled it and sent to asylum office mesquite. but still didn’t get anything from asylum office. than I called on the help line and they said to mail another letter regarding your application. I did. but still I didn’t get any answer. I am really confused what to do? can you please help me out.

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Something is wrong. I am not sure what address you should have sent the form to – you can find out if follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Enter your zip code, and it will tell you your local asylum office. If you scroll down, you will see where to file an initial I-589. You can also email your local asylum office to ask if they have your case. Finally, you can request a copy of your file using form G-639 (available at http://www.uscis.gov). However, due to the one-year asylum deadline, you may need to re-send the I-589 application. If so, include a cover letter explaining that it was previously filed but you did not get a receipt. Take care, Jason

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Nazeer February 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

I have my refugee travel Document it will expire this month . I didn’t use it . I want to renewal it . I should to send my old one or just apply to get new one let me know please what i should to do . I am from a ban list ( syria) thanks so much

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:43 am

I cannot give such specific advice here – sorry. Look at the instructions on the form I-131 – it should tell you everything you need to mail to them to get the new RTD. Take care, Jason

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Bisrat Kebede February 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Hello, First of all, I would like to thank you MR.Jason on your amazing help that you have been given for those who needed it, based on law. Thank you.
let me share my story and I will put my question at the end.
I am from Ethiopia and I came to the USA in 2015. As we all know, Ethiopia has a tyranny Government who oppress, jailed and killed its own citizen based on political differences, Ethnicity, and the gov’t is the most corrupted gov’t. Actually, that is not new in Africa, most of the African leaders especially the west and east are more oppressive. I have been one of those people who have a political difference, beliefs in democracy(worst nightmare of tyrannies) so I have joined a democratic party so that we get rid of the dictator. Despite we are under a tyranny, we were still optimistic because Ethiopian Government gets a lot of fund from the USA and other democratic nation by pretending they run a democratic system. Long story short, They have put and still putting a lot of people in jail including me. I got out by bail and it was my last year in university. I had a chance to go France, went there but I had to go back to Ethiopia and finish my school( left with 1 month ), I spent all my life to be an Engineer so by taking a serious risk I went back and finishes (Thankfully Nothing happened ).After I finished my Engineering program I got another chance to come to the USA. while I am in the USA the government sent a notice paper to my home saying I have to be in court, For sure, I know what’s at stake for me if I go back. So I can not go back because of fear of persecution. we are already traumatized physically and psychologically by our own gov’t and we feel we are on safe hand (USA) right now. So, executing deportation who came here legally (did not break immigration law), seeking protection from persecution through lawful way , have a certified lawyer and pending process. Is that something that the USA constitution says about? I want you to give me your professional clarification, please? and Do you think we are in safe hand? and how do you think they would solve this through law?
May GOD bless.
Thank You

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SCOPA February 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

I am also from Africa (Not Ethiopia). Just my thought is that (from what I read and from the medias outlets) you should not fear at this point of time. The reason is that you have already applied for asylum (I guess so!) you have to carry the receipt with you at all time and take all necessary caution not to commit a crime. The other issues you should explain to the immigration officer during the interview. It is not necessary to worry much!
Finally, you should be prepared to show a reason why you didn’t claim asylum in France (just from what i wrote i am not legal expert.
Please discard my comment if you are not satisfied as I am also in your position and having pending asylum at LA office

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:38 am

I agree with all this. I think you (Bisrat) can explain your return trip from France to Ethiopia (for education) and that you decided to seek asylum after you got the note to go to court. However, this will be an important part of your case, and you should get evidence and provide a good explanation for why you returned from France to Ethiopia. If you do that, you should have a good chance of success in the case. Thank you (SCOPA) for your comment, Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:32 am

I am not 100% sure I understand your question, but I think you are asking whether you can safely ask for asylum in the US. Trump has made some changes to the immigration system, but generally, they do not affect people who file for asylum in a situation like you describe. You cannot be deported from the US without a chance to present your asylum case, and have it heard by a judge and an appeals court. That is the law, and it has not changed under Trump. So I think if you want to apply for asylum here, you can, and your case will be heard as before. Take care, Jason

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Hmong Bong February 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Hi Jason,

I got paroled into the US in Sept 2014 in Seattle after being detained as an arriving alien in May 2014 in San Diego. My attorney charged $8k as it’s a “detained case” as opposed to $5k, his usual affirmative asylum fee. He said it covers everything, from paperwork to court. He made two telephony appearances in court while I was in Seattle detention.

Once released, I moved the case to Los Angeles, where he made it personally to LA (from San Diego) for a Master Hearing. And he’ll do it again next month for my Individual Hearing. Now he’s sending me an invoice for $2k to cover those trips.

Is this normal? And is that a reasonable rate? Also, would I be able to negotiate for a reduced fee or payment plan? Would he be a no-show if I didn’t pay by then? I can’t spare so much cash on short notice (I’m an asylum seeker for Pete’s sake). Please let me know what you think, thank you very much.

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:28 am

I do not know what your contact with him said, so it is difficult for me to comment. If it were me, and the case moved from one city to another, I would charge an additional fee (my contract makes that clear), but I am not sure how long it takes to get from SD to LA. The price he is charging is more than what I charge (for court cases, we are charging $4000, which includes two trips to the local court), but it is well within the normal range. Given what you have already paid, it seems that maybe you could negotiate a payment plan with him. Also, if you fail to pay, he cannot simply withdraw from your case (or not show up). Lawyers have certain duties to clients that we cannot get out of so easily. I would talk to him and explain the situation and hopefully you can reach an agreement. Take care, Jason

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Asylumist February 21, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Hi Jason, i did my asylum interview on feb 10th 2017 in Los Angeles office and i did very well in my interview, they told me on feb 24th return back here to pickup your decision, today I received mail that we will mail the decision to your address! Why do you think that is happening?
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2017 at 7:33 am

This is very common – Normally, it is due to security background checks not being complete, and it has nothing to do with whether the case will be granted or not. I would say more than 50% of my cases where the officer tells us to come back in 2 weeks are later turned into mail out cases. You may get a decision soon, or it may take a long time, so you have to remain patient. If you have no answer in a few months, contact the asylum office to follow up. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Ray February 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Hi,
Would be please inform me when you filed your asylum case???
Regads

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Asylumist February 23, 2017 at 12:36 pm

June 2014

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Ray February 21, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Hi Jason,
A parents of friend of mine, who are christian Iraqis had an interview in LA asylum office, they got denied due to two reason…
1. You didnt prove that the Iraqi government is unable to protect you!!! is that make sense!!! the iraqi government is unable to protect itself…hahhaha.
2. you didnt prove that you suffered persecution in iraq!!! he already stated that his Lab was bombed…

I talked to their lawyer and he insisted that his client did very well in the interview, and the lawyer was 100% sure that his client gonna be approved.

I am just wondering, whats going on!!!!!!!!!

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm

These things happen, unfortunately. It is possible to ask for reconsideration of the decision by the Asylum Office, but that rarely works. Probably, they will have a good chance to win in court, based on the case you describe, but that can take a long time. Take care, Jason

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Zac February 20, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Nice topic Jason, but I think Trump administration is targeting everyone not only the Muslims, for example ICE current raids and the wall across the border is targeting Latino, and there is a rumor that Trump next target is H1B visa, which is basically targeting skilled workers and most of them are from India and China.

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Ryan February 20, 2017 at 4:57 pm

He is perfectly making the America great again! 🙂

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jatinder sandhu February 21, 2017 at 12:14 am

Immigrants make america great again

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Ryan February 21, 2017 at 4:23 am

Indeed. From Albert Einstein to all the Indian, Chinese, and Iranian scientists have made America great.

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:08 pm

I think that he is targeting more than just Muslims, but I wrote the above piece with Muslims in mind, since that is what I am seeing in my job every day. Take care, Jason

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Elyas February 20, 2017 at 7:38 am

Dear Jason

I have encountered with this news published yesterday this made me soo worried

Could i have your input about its applicability

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN15Y04A?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=58aa32b204d30178c81df94f&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:54 am

Sorry – I cannot check websites. If you explain your question, I will try to answer. Take care, Jason

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John February 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm

“Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportations”. This is the outline for the news.

He is dead serious to deport immigrants as many as he can. We are in a chaos…

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AlexH February 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Hi, Jason, I saw this report also, all I fear is
that Trump admin will stop interview process, just review cases and sift those strong cases (using their unknown standards) and allow those applicants to get interviews, as for others he will deport without any further interview or appeal.
I have been thing for 3 years for an interview, and these 3 years I live in limbo, I am single female, I have no family and cannot pursue further education,certain job I cannot work, every year I panic because of the EAD renewal, and this year I am not even sure if I can get one.

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm

You should get an EAD, and you cannot be deported under the expedited procedure, as you are here more than 2 years and you have a pendnig asylum case. I expect that you will (eventually) receive an interview, as has been the procedure all along. Take care, Jason

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Sara February 21, 2017 at 1:11 am

I read the article and looked up the memo draft on McClatchy, and it seems to apply to people seeking asylum at the border. That’s just my interpretation until Jason sheds some light on this.

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AlexH February 21, 2017 at 1:59 am

I read it again, it seems you are right Sara, it seems only apply for credible fear and reaonable fear which is the border seeking asylum category. But anyways, it’s just a craft, it is going to take process and court process to be a law even if it is for affirmative asylum. I think right now nothing to worry about. Hope Jason would provide some insights!

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Sara February 21, 2017 at 2:53 am

True, Alex, let’s try to remain hopeful. The wait is long and stressful enough as it is.

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:33 pm

See my reply to Sara – I do think Trump is trying to make immigrant as fearful as possible. It is a real disgrace and a black mark on our country. We will all keep opposing his hateul (and often illegal) actions. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Maybe this is about the memo on interior enforcement? If so, Trump wants to expand expedited removal (Obama basically used it near the border for people who entered the US less than two weeks before; Trump would expand it to other parts of the US and for people who entered up to two years before), but even if he does so, people still have an opportunity to present their asylum case. That is part of the law, and no memo can change that – it would have to be an act of Congress, signed by the president. Take care, Jason

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Sara February 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Thank you for the clarification, Jason.

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Da February 20, 2017 at 6:40 am

Good day,
Does anyone know how long it’s takes to have renewal EAD approved after you submit evidence request? Mine was a picture, i submitted it . it’s almost 2 weeks and still waiting for the decision.
I will appreciate to have your response.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 8:12 am

EAD cases typically take 2 to 4 months from beginning to end, and a request for evidence should not make much difference. Also, if you have your old EAD and your receipt for the new EAD, you are allowed to work for up to 6 months. I did a posting about that on January 25, 2017 with some links that may be helpful. Take care, Jason

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Da February 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Thanks Mr jason for your quick response.
Yes i tried to keep my job with the receipt and the old EAD card, but it didn’t work and i got fire. Anyway thank you for your help and may God bless you.

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Allen February 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

You are fired because most employers are not aware of the new changes USCIS made in terms of old EAD validity. Did you print out new USCIS policy and show it to them? I believe employers should be educated about this new changes soon.

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:04 pm

It seems to me that that is improper – you are allowed to work under the new procedure. I suppose you could fight the employer, but it depends on how badly you want the job and whether you want to be bothered with that. Sorry to hear it, Jason

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Da February 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Thank you Mr jason for your support i really apreciate. i will try to be patient until i receive the new one.

James February 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

Hi, FYI
I applied for my AED on 6th January, USCIS confirmed that they received my application on 13th Jan and sent me a Notice on 18th January to verify name and other details. And I used to check status online https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do and understood on 10th Feb they ordered my new card and on 15th status changed showing that they sent my card to my given address and I received my EAD in post box on 17th Feb. I applied in Houston Tx. Thanks, Regards

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SCOPA February 21, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Thank you for your information. It took about 40 days and that is great

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Cris February 21, 2017 at 8:23 pm

Hi James. Glad you got your EAD really fast. Is it initial or renewal? How many years valid? Thank you.

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DH February 21, 2017 at 11:45 pm

I was applied on the 6th of January, They received on 9th of January. The online status did not changed. It says
“My Case Was Received”. Can you please tell me how it happened? I applied at Nebraska service center

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

I am not sure what you are asking. It typically takes 2 to 4 months to get an EAD from the time you apply (though it can sometimes be faster or slower), so you are well within the normal processing time. It seems to me that everything is normal. Take care, Jason

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Adam February 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Hey Jason,

I am an asylum applicant, USCIS referred my case to the Immigration court. I have been renewing my EDA for the past 4 years. I am from the 7th country. Do you think Trump could put order to not renew the EDA For us. Iy yes what we have to do to live like normal people, since court hearing could take many years.

My best regards,

Hi

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:56 am

I do think he has the power to block EADs for asylum seekers, but I am not sure he has the power to do that based on nationality, as that would be discrimination and it may not be allowed under the law (though the law on this point is not 100% clear, at least to me). In any case, I have not heard about any plans to do this, and so I hope people will continue to be able to renew their EADs while the asylum case is pending. Take care, Jason

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King Khan February 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Hi jason,
I am from pakistan. My father has granted asylum and he applied for green card 10 month ago, But his GC application is still pending. And 2nd he has already filed I-730 follow to join asylee reletive petition for me, and my petition approved and my interview done by islamabad embassy in january and now i m waiting for visa. can the trump exective order effect him or not ?

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

The executive order is on hold, and in any case, it does not apply to Pakistan, so it should not affect either of you. We have seen delays even under Obama for people from Pakistan (usually due to security background checks), so you and he could face those delays and that may be the reason things are moving slowly. Take care, Jason

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King Khan February 22, 2017 at 1:22 pm

One more question, Now my father in US is count unducument or ducumental ? Thank You.

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:28 am

I do not know about his situation, so I cannot say. Take care, Jason

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Karn February 19, 2017 at 3:09 am

Hi Jason,
We always get best guidance and update from you blog and comments . I have one question hope you get time to help us , Me and my wife applied asylum in first week December 2016 at los Angeles office and our application was accepted in December 2016 we have also submitted fingerprint ,we came her with limited money and waiting for our work authorization so that we can start earning for livelihood but with current scenario we are very much afraid that we will get EAD or not in June as there lot of things going around in DHS and they are coming with strict rules , can you give your opinion on all asylum applicant with pending will get EAD or it might get blocked as there was also news today on CNN mentioning possibility of sending pending asylum applicant back to Mexico till the time there file is processed . please give your revert

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:40 am

I have not heard about a plan to block asylum seekers from getting the EAD, but the Administration has that power (as I read the law). I do not think they will do that, though. Also, they cannot simply send you out of the US without going through the procedures, and so I think you are safe from that problem. Generally, asylum is part of the law and most aspects of it are difficult to change. Trump may try to make it more restrictive, but I highly doubt he could eliminate it, and I do not think he wants to eliminate it, at least not for most asylum seekers. In short, I suspect that you will process your case as before, but I suppose we will have to see what he tries to be sure, but he has limited power to make these changes, and so I think you should be ok. Take care, Jason

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karn February 21, 2017 at 7:13 pm

Thanks Jason ,

You always give good guidance and help people like us .

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Izzac February 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Dear jason
Am back again , i wonder
I few days back i was watching the procesding time for travel docoments , they were working on Aug 16/2016 and thats the day i applied in ,i was waiting my travel docoments , on friday feb 17 they change the list and apdate it , i check my travel docoments date i found that they are working in July 28/2016 ?!!!! How come they went back instate of forward ??!! Thats confuse me , what do you think ?

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:24 am

I think the dates that they post are not all that accurate and they do sometimes move backwards, though I am not sure why. Maybe because they are just the best estimates. I expect that it should generally move forward, so hopefully, you will see that soon. Take care, Jason

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Assad February 18, 2017 at 11:30 am

How and where do you report fake asylum requests (conversion to a different religion just to get asylum).

I know this is a different kind of question for this site but I believe I have proof that a few people I know have applied for this kind of asylum – wealthy, high end lifestyle and travelled the world but came to the US, hired an expensive lawyer and got an asylum request submitted.

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Nick February 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Anyone can file for asylum, and neither you or anyone else can stop a person from applying for asylum. The most that you can do is write a tip to the asylum office. You can’t do more than that.

Also, just because someone is rich, doesn’t mean he does not qualify for asylum. You don’t know what they have been through and you don’t have the right to look into their personal details.

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Assad February 19, 2017 at 4:24 am

How about someone who has openly stated that they are just applying for asylum because they want to come to USA and don’t want to deal with F1 or H1 Visa process and because they are from a Muslim country they can easily fake a conversion and apply for asylum. LA for example is full of people from Iran who come on tourist visa intentionally and apply for asylum – they have absolutely no problems in their home country but they misuse it to get asylum.

I know tipping ICE is one of the options – I am not here to argue whether these people’s asylum is valid or not – I know and I have proof that it’s fake. I just need to know who else to report this kind of fraud because morally it’s wrong and it makes it difficult for real asylees and I want to report this issue.

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Nick February 19, 2017 at 5:17 am

People from Iran have fake claims? Ha! If anything, asylum should be granted automatically to citizens of that country. Again, you are no one to judge. But since it’s a free country, enjoy your right to freedom of speech.

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Assad February 19, 2017 at 8:24 am

Yep – I have been there several times. There is a mini factory for people who want to get here on fake asylum. They have no issues in that country – I am not saying all but there are some.

You can chose not to believe it as is your right.

Mohsen February 19, 2017 at 8:07 am

You are very suspicions.
First of all, How do you magically know the whole story of those persons’ lives. Since they are rich or visited some places in the world, their claims are fake??!!!

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Assad February 19, 2017 at 8:22 am

Because I have written and oral proof. Are you saying 100% of all asylum claims are legit. And yes the system is being abused by a lot of people. You guys who are genuine get affected by it so you should care.

I am preparing a case which is my duty but I just wanted to know how to report this other than talking to ICE.

Mohsen February 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

َAsylum is the most confidential part of asylee seekers. Are you saying some of Iranians told you that their claims is fraudulent?

You have written proof?!! that means, they signed a paper for you that they are fake!!!

You have oral proof? Did you record their voices hiddenly?

Obliviously you work for IR government.

Sarah February 20, 2017 at 12:43 am

Well; I for one am from Iran. I am a lesbian woman and couldn’t be like that in Iran. I am not sure why you think Iranians are ok there. I am not poor, I have PhD and I am getting good salary (> 120k annually) in a chemical company in California, but I cannot go back to Iran and live with my GF and marry her one day. I am a scientist but will not be hired in Iran. If I go back I will be arrested, jailed, and after three time arrest will be punished by death. I will be forced to marry. So what are you talking about? I came here with F1 visa, went to a top tier school with scholarships and zero debt. I was young at the time and very confused and traumatized with my past experience. I had to go to many therapy sessions to feel normal again. I realized if I get back to Iran I’ll miss free life and my rights as human being. So I applied for asylum. Who are you to say we are all fake?

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Sarah February 20, 2017 at 12:50 am

BTW, I had also travelled the world before coming to the US, but wasn’t even sure then that I am lesbian. I came to the US to go to school, and at the time was severely depressed. I wasn’t sure who I am or what i was. I was very depressed and traumatized. I worked on myself a lot to realize I am not sick and twisted. After being in the US on visa for 5-6 yrs I applied for asylum. I also at the same time applied for another kind of green card (national interest waiver) based on my education. So we’ll see, maybe before asylum interview I get my green card through another path. But it’s very wrong to just assume ppl are okay there. I for one was not ok at all. If I end up being in Iran I’m not gonna wait to see what happens; I’ll end my life in the plane before putting my foot there. I cn’t go through that shit again.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:16 am

There is a fraud hotline that I think you can find on the USCIS website. I would caution you that just because you believe the case is fake does not mean that it is fake, or that you can prove it, and if you accuse someone of filing a fake case, you might be liable for a lawsuit if they learn that you reported them, so you should be careful. Take care, Jason

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alex February 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

The law has very strict and broad definition of who is eligible for Asylum. I encourage you to look it up and especially “credible fear” definition. That said, the asylum office is very strict on it and conduct thorough interviews. I myself Syrian, atheist and opponent of the govt and have on many occasions written and spoke out against the regime was Denied asylum.

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alex February 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Edit: Broad (not strict)

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John February 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Which asylum office?
Did you have a lawyer?

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jatinder sandhu February 18, 2017 at 9:04 am

Do asylum pending applicants need to worry about ICE raids in some part of USA .. second if some one has ead based on asylum pending will he considered as undocumented immigrants..

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:10 am

So far, I have not heard about people with asylum pending being targeted by raids, so I think you should be ok. If you have the EAD, and have an asylum case pending, you are here lawfully. “Undocumented” is not a legal term, and it has no meaning under the law. Given your status, you are allowed to be in the US until your asylum case is resolved. Take care, Jason

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Adnan February 18, 2017 at 5:30 am

Hi Jason. Sir my asylum case is now in immigration court. In Dec 2016 my case was reffered to court. So my question is that am I eligible to go to canada and ask for asylum. Because Usa and Canada have agreement. So if asylum officer is not grant you asylum then Canada accept it as Denail or not. Thanks for ur reply.

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mohamed February 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm

salam adnan are you from the 7 countries im from syria and applied on dec 2015 and i have no interview yet

my friend his case is in court too and he go to canda but canda didnt accept him and he back to usa

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Adnan February 19, 2017 at 5:30 am

Thanks Mohammad. I’m not from that 7 countries. It’s means if someone case is in court then Canada is not accepting. So when they accept the asylum case and what they said to you friend. Thanks

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Ali February 21, 2017 at 4:44 am

I wonder whether your Syrian friend applied at the border or inside Canada. Because rules are different at the border and inside Canada

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:07 am

You need to talk to a lawyer in Canada before you try that. We have seen people try to go to Canada, only to be rejected at the border and then detained in the US. Also, if you are in immigration court and you leave the US, it is considered a deportation, and that can have negative consequences. I think if you talk to a lawyer in Canada and try to go there, you will need to close out your case here before you leave, and you may need a lawyer in the US to help with that (so you can get “Voluntary Departure” – and not a deportation order – from the US immigration judge). Take care, Jason

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Ali February 21, 2017 at 4:45 am

I wonder whether your Syrian friend applied at the border or inside Canada. Because rules are different at the border and inside Canada

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Ayman A. M. Nijim February 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Thank you Jason for sharing your knowledge with us. I filled out an application at the Ombudsman office. I keep my fingers crossed that they will notify me with a willingness to assist. I had my interview on October and haven’t received any mail so far. So stressed out. In your own experience, can you speculate a timeline for mailing us the final decision?
Thank you Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 6:46 am

I cannot predict when a decision will be issued, as sometimes it is a few weeks, and other times it takes years. Usually, the Ombudsman gives a response in 3to 5 months. Take care, Jason

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Aris Areo February 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Hi Jason,
I know there is is a lot of misinformation out there but I was told that it maybe possible to bring a congressional bill to specifically target the green cards of Asylees by this administration. Is that even legally possible? Are all green card holders on a similar footing after been granted permanent residence or can they be discriminated based on the way the I-485 was adjudicated?

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Rayan February 17, 2017 at 5:41 pm

What’s your source??

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm

It is possible to ask Congress for assistance and there is such a thing as a “private bill” to help individual immigrants (this is extremely rare). You can contact your Congress person and try, or better yet, get the help of a US citizen or organization (like a church) to contact the Congress person. Take care, Jason

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Aris Areo February 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Hi Jason,

It seems that you misinterpreted my question. I’m already a GC holder. I heard that GC holders who got GC’s via asylum or refugee will be singled out at port of entry and will face extreme questioning during citizenship. This may be done via executive order or a bill. I don’t have any credible source but such and other information is floating around in immigrant communities. Like I said there is so much misinformation around. But obviously there is no such actual order yet, so I was asking if it’s legally possible to discriminate against a specific class of green card holders at port of entry or citizenship.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:47 am

It is a good question. I think in terms of citizenship, USCIS can question a person more thoroughly if they have reason to believe that is necessary. They do not need to justify themselves as long as it is not discriminatory. I suppose CBP can question GC-holders more thoroughly on a case-by-case basis, but I do think they may have trouble doing so for a discriminatory purpose (for example, if the singled out only Muslims). I suppose if they singled out GC-holders because they got the GC from asylum, they could argue that that is not a discriminatory motive, but I am not sure how that would play out in court. There are various laws that protect against discrimination, but I do not know if GC-holders who obtained their status based on asylum could be considered a protected class, or if courts might view that as a proxy for some other type of discrimination. I suppose that is a long way of saying, I don’t know. I guess we will have to wait and see how the Administration implements its new policies. Take care, Jason

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Allen February 20, 2017 at 11:54 am

what I’ve heard is: Many people who got their GC based on Asylum went to their home country of origin with GC and came back to the states. many of them were questioned while reentering USA but still many of them didn’t face any question. Now, USCIS sees this an abuse of asylum system and it is very likely that there will be a bill to confiscate GC of those who return to their country of origin after getting asylum by claiming that he will be persecuted if he goes back to his home country. I believe you are talking about this Aris and I think this is not discrimination. because as Jason suggested in many articles, anyone with asylum based GC should talk to a lawyer before attempting to go to their home country, because it may suggest your asylum case is fraudulent.

Aris Areo February 23, 2017 at 2:09 am

Thanks Jason for your reply. And to the person mentioning about returning to home country, you maybe right that this rumor may be related to that. I haven’t been to my home country since I came here as the conditions for my ethnicity aren’t good and it’s not worth the risk. I have been outside US 2 times, once to Canada and other time to France. Both times I was using green card and there were no questions. All US citizens and green card holders were directed to the automatic kiosk. The officer just asked if I was bringing anything back that I wanted to declare.

NZM February 16, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Hi Jason
I was granted asylum a decade ago and since my application to register as a Permanent Resident has been on hold becuase of the material support provisions of INA. Every year I do apply for refugee travel document which valid for a year. So far I have renewed the travel document 8 times. However, three months ago I did apply to get a new travel document and a month ago I provided my biometric during a ASC appointment. Today I got a notice of denial and no reson was provided. It makes me somehow worried as to why the application was denied without any reason. I have to mention that I am not a citizen of one of the countries that were included in president’s last executive order. I would very much appreciate if you could think of any reason for denial.

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:45 am

I do not know why the case was denied. I recommend you call USCIS to ask about the case. You can find their number at http://www.uscis.gov. I also recommend you contact the USCIS Ombudsman to ask about it – a link is at right. It is probably also a good idea to talk to a lawyer about this. Maybe the lawyer can look at the denial letter and understand better the reason for the denial. Take care, Jason

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Reza February 16, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Hi Jason – I applied for asylum three years after my entry to the US but I haven’t stayed one day illegally. My case is pending an interview. Applying late was merely due to unawareness of the one-year condition but not any special circumstance like change in the situation back home. I was studying/working legally and didn’t bother to consider the asylum option.

Would that make it hard to win the case? Would the fact I haven’t stayed even one day illegally and that I’m currently financially very stable help?

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Gharchak February 16, 2017 at 9:11 pm

YESSSS!
You are 100% qualified for asylum bro. you are such a great and legal asylee seeker 🙂

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:37 am

The only issue for a case like this is whether you were here lawfully. For example, if you are a student who has been full time and has not violated your status, you can file for asylum even if you have been in the US for more than a year. People who are lawfully present in the US for more than a year (usually on an F, H1b or J visa) can still apply for asylum because they meet an exception to the one-year filing requirement called “exceptional circumstances.” So if that is the case with you, you should still be eligible for asylum. Take care, Jason

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Maddi February 18, 2017 at 1:22 am

I have one question. I applied for asylum after two years of my arrival(Nov 2014) and my visa (J1) expired in (June 2014). I never renewed my visa because I busy with my research work.

Do you think I still meet “exceptional circumstances” condition ?

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Nick February 18, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Being “busy” is not an exception.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 6:55 am

Based on the time line alone, I doubt you meet an exception. You arrived in November 2012 and your J-1 status ended in June 2014. That means you should apply before June 2014 to be safe. Maybe you can argue that you filed within a “reasonable time:” after June 2014, but I doubt 5 months would be considered a reasonable time. You should probably think of other arguments about why you meet the one-year deadline. Maybe there were issues you faced that prevented you from filing soon. Talk to a lawyer to help you with this if possible, as failure to meet the one-year deadline means that your case will likely be denied (you can still win withholding of removal and Torture Convention relief before an immigration judge), and so it is important to find an exception if you can. Take care, Jason

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Maddi February 20, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Jeason and Nicks
Thanks for reply. I don’t want to talk alot and share my personal life details but here are some of the reasons:
1- I was politically active trying to change my country situation.
2- Lost a family member.
3- Going through medical treatments.

John February 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm

Hi Jason,
I came to the US on an F1 (student) visa. Later, as a derivative to my wife, I applied applied for an asylum nearly three years ago. Now, I am about to finish my studies and I want to apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT). Would my pending asylum application affect my application for an OPT?

Thanks,
John

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:34 am

I believe you can apply for OPT even with asylum pending, as long as you are still in valid F-1 status. To be sure, you might want to talk to your school, if there is someone there who helps with OPT applications. Take care, Jason

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John February 17, 2017 at 8:05 am

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your response. I will talk to international students’ office for the OPT application. One of the questions in the form asks me if I have ever applied for an EAD, which I did through the pending asylum application. Should I answer “yes” for the question? If so, would this affect my application for OPT?

Thank you again,
John

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Allen February 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I believe this kind of very OPT specific question is out of Jason’s specialty.

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

I can’t answer such specific questions here, sorry. You have to answer truthfully, and if you have a previous EAD, you should include a copy of that (front and back). Take care, Jason

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Kandi Y February 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Hi Jason thanks all the work you have done.
I just get a phone call from USCIS that they want come in and interview my asylum case tomorrow morning . I was on the “standby” list for a year. And I applied for asylum back to 2014.

My question is if I request a reschedule . Will they treat me like other people that has requested reschedule? Or treat me differently because I’m on the “standby” list?
Because I remember that they will schedule the people who has requested reschedule.
I don’t want miss the chance to have my interview but also want some more time to prepare myself.
What should I do?

Thank you very much.

I understand this is a question unrelated to the post and hope you don’t mind. I’m sorry

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Jason Dzubow February 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm

I do not know, as different asylum offices have different policies. I think you should ask them this exact question and see what they tell you. In my local office, usually they will reschedule you fairly quickly, but I think you should ask them to be sure. Take care, Jason

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Kandi Y February 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Thank you so much Jason, I will go to the office tomorrow morning and ask them to reschedule. I don’t want rush into my interview and ruin it.
Again, thanks.

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

That may be wise. I advise my clients that it is better to win slowly than lose quickly…

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Manuel February 17, 2017 at 3:22 am

3 years waiting for your interview and you are not prepared?

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

You can try to meet an exception – maybe the third reason is the most likely to meet an exception to the one-year rule. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm

That is exactly the issue – if the return trip causes USCIS to believe your asylum case was fake, you could face problems from USCIS. I have seen that happen to people. It does not always happen, but it is a risk of returning home. Take care, Jason

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