In a Time of Hate, My Refugee Clients Give Me Hope

by Jason Dzubow on August 17, 2017

As an ordinary citizen, it is not easy to decide the best way to confront a Nazi march. Show up to peacefully protest? That might give additional attention to the other side. Protest violently? Not only could that elevate the Nazis, it might also de-legitimize the resistance to the Nazis (even those who peacefully resist). Ignore them? That might be viewed as condoning their views. Reasonable people can differ about what to do, at least as far as the peaceful responses are concerned.

As a great American philosopher once said, “I hate Nazis.”

But when you are a public figure, especially an elected official, the decision about how to respond is clear: First, ensure safety and free speech. Second, denounce the evils of Nazism and make it plain that Nazis, Klan members, and anyone who might march side-by-side with such people are un-American, illegitimate, and unworthy of a seat at the table of public discourse.

Fortunately, the vast majority of our country’s elected leaders knew what to say in response to the Nazi march last weekend. But unfortunately, there was one important exception–our President, Donald J. Trump. To me, Mr. Trump’s contemptible silence, followed by a reluctant “denunciation” of the Nazis, followed by a denunciation of the “denunciation” is an utter disgrace. It is a green light to Nazis. It is yet another attack on common decency and on our shared national values. It is complicity with Nazism. By the President of the United States. (As an aside, one of my lawyer-friends at the Justice Department told me–perhaps half jokingly–that she wanted to post a sign in her office that reads, “Nazis are bad,” but she feared it might get her into trouble–that is where we are under Mr. Trump.)

Frankly, I am not particularly worried about the Nazis themselves. They certainly can do damage–they murdered a young woman and injured many others. But they do not have the power or support to threaten our democracy. This does not mean we should take them for granted (few would have predicted Hitler’s rise when he was sitting in prison after the Beerhall Putsch), but we should not be unduly fearful either.

On the other hand, I am very worried about our President’s behavior. His governing philosophy (perhaps we can call it, “trickle down histrionics”) is poisoning our public debate, and it weakens us domestically and internationally. Thus far, his incompetence has served as a bulwark against his malevolence, but that can only go on for so long (see, e.g., North Korea). So there is much to be concerned about.

Here, though, I want to talk about hope. Specifically, the hope that I feel from my clients: Asylum seekers, “illegals,” and other immigrants. There are several reasons my clients give me hope.

One reason is that they still believe in the American Dream. Despite all of the nastiness, mendacity, and bigotry coming from the White House, people still want to come to America. They are voting with their feet. Some endure seemingly endless waits, often times separated from their loved ones, in order to obtain legal status here. Others risk their lives to get here. They don’t do this because (as Mr. Trump suggests) they want to harm us. They do it because they want to join us. They want to be part of America. My clients and others like them represent the American ideal far better than those, like our embattled President and his racist friends, who disparage them. When I see my country through my clients’ eyes, it gives me hope.

My clients’ stories also give me hope. Most of my clients are asylum seekers. They have escaped repressive regimes or failing states. Where they come from, the government doesn’t just tweet nasty comments about its opponents, it tortures and murders them. The terrorist groups operating in my clients’ countries regularly harm and kill noncombatants, women, children, and even babies. My clients have stood against this depravity, and many of them continue to fight for democracy, justice, and human rights from our shores. My clients’ perseverance in the face of evil gives me hope.

Finally, I have hope because I see the courage of my clients, who refuse to be cowed by the hateful rhetoric of our Commander-in-Chief. Since the early days of his campaign, Mr. Trump has demonized foreigners and refugees, and after he was sworn in as President, these individuals were the first to come into his cross hairs. If he can defeat people like my clients, he can move on to new targets. But many refugees and asylum seekers have been subject to far worse treatment than Mr. Trump’s bluster, and they are ready to stand firm against his bullying. Their fortitude encourages others to stand with them. And stand with them we will. The fact that vulnerable, traumatized people are on the front lines of this fight, and that they will not surrender, gives me hope.

I have written before about the tangible benefits of our humanitarian immigration system. It demonstrates to the world that our principles–democracy, human rights, freedom, justice–are not empty platitudes. It shows that we support people who work with us and who advance the values we hold dear. When such people know that we have their backs, they will be more willing to work with us going forward. And of course, that system helps bring people to the United States whose talents and energy benefit our entire nation. Add to this list one more benefit that asylees and refugees bring to our nation in this dark time–hope.

{ 141 comments… read them below or add one }

Homayoun September 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Dear Jason,
Is it useful to attach the property titles That I own in my home country into the asylum application? I left them there and came to US by B2 visa and now after conversion, i’m scared to go back to take care of them. Thanks in advance.

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:37 am

If those documents are relevant to your case, you can attach them. But if they are not relevant, there is no need to get them. Take care, Jason

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Tekin September 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Jason,

Does Motion for Reconsideration will work after the interview? I was referred to the court and submitted Motion for Reconsideration in February. But still no news from them.

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Jason Dzubow September 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm

They often do not respond to such a motion, and it rarely works. There is no harm in trying. You can contact them to inquire about whether they made a decision on the motion. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Metti August 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Hey Jason.

Thanks for al you do,

I am here on a B1/B2 visa and I got accepted to a school here. So, I applied for adjustment of status and an extension of my B1/B2 visa (as I am waiting for my F1 visa) But my case is still saying its received and school starts on Sept. 1. When I saw their website its saying they are processing cases as of Apr. 16. I applied on May 1st. My B1/B2 visa expired on july/ But I applied for an extension/. Do you know if there is anyway they could expedite my adjustment application? or anyway I can stay here and register again for the next school year?
Thanks

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Rohit August 26, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Hi
If you applied for aos then you should be fine. I did the same things and my approval for F1 came after the expiration of my current visa b1b2. So you don’t have to worry about that.

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Jason Dzubow August 28, 2017 at 6:05 am

Sorry, I can only assist here with asylum cases. Sometimes the schools themselves can assist with this process; otherwise, you would need to talk to a lawyer. Take care, Jason

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ARAIN August 24, 2017 at 2:33 am

Hey Jason ,
How r u Jason I would like to know that I am an asylee in US I applied in 2014 still waiting for the Interview .I am 34 years male old and I have 2 questions please help me out .
1) I will be able to change my status another status like if someone hired me as an employer?
2) is there any specific category My father he is a citizen he is 62 years old can is there anyway he can apply for me ?
I have been to a lawyer but he said it will take 10 to 12 years
can u please tell me is there any way I want to change my asylum status becuase the process is very slow to long .

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Jason Dzubow August 25, 2017 at 6:28 am

1 – Maybe. If you are currently in status (with some status other than “asylum pending” such as F-1). If your only status here is asylum pending, you probably need to leave the US to get a new status, though there might be exceptions, so you need to talk to a lawyer about the specific situation. 2 – If your father is a US citizen, he can apply for you, but the process is very slow, as the lawyer said, though you can check the time frame if you Google “DOS visa bulletin”. You can also ask the asylum office to expedite your case – I wrote a post about that on March 30, 2017, and maybe it would help. Take care, Jason

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david August 24, 2017 at 12:02 am

heartly thanks mr.jason for your wonderful works.i m regular reader since 2014. i have one qutition i put an application to renew my ead in jan 19 but in july 28 they denied to renew ead and sent me notice but they did not send my money order so can i get my money back or i can not.
thanks

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Jr August 24, 2017 at 4:01 am

Hi david,
May I ask why did they denied your renewal EAD?
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow August 25, 2017 at 6:24 am

I know of no way to get the money back. It is strange that you would be denied if your case is still pending. Maybe talk to a lawyer about that for some help. Take care, Jason

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JAMES August 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm

Hello there
I applied to take asylum in america in 2016 December and got work permit. But the problem is that I have not been able to make health insurance for my children for about 13 months.
I try and research many times but they always strayed and they said it would not happen without getting a green card.
One of my children is allergic to advanced disease, and that makes me very worried.

Can I take refugees from America and take refuge in Germany?
Those countries that offer more health care to germany asylum seekers?
Please give detailed answer to my daughter’s life in danger, unfortunately, she has not medicaid.
Does germany admit before usa asylum applicants to america?
please answer
thnaks

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Jason Dzubow August 25, 2017 at 6:19 am

I do not know about Germany or any other country – you should talk to someone there. I recommend you talk to a large organization in the US, like Catholic Charities, as they might be able to advise you about such benefits here. You can Google “Catholic Charities” + your local city and probably find a nearby office. They help everyone regardless of religion. Take care, Jason

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Mohit August 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

Hi Jason,
I have applied for asylum after 1 year of my US entry,but when I applied for asylum I was in other status L1(It was pending for second time extension and my EAD from L1 was valid when i applied asylum.So what about 1 year bar for my case, 1 year bar apply for me. It will be great help if you explain about my situation.

Thanks.
Mohit.

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Jason Dzubow August 24, 2017 at 6:40 am

One of these days, I will write a blog post about the 1-year bar, but if you were “in status” on the L-1, you should be fine. If your L-1 expired and you had an extension pending during the time you filed for asylum, and the extension was denied, I am not sure whether you will meet an exception to the rule. There is not a lot of guidance on interpreting the 1-year bar, and there are many situations where the answer is unclear, and so the asylum officer or judge has to make his/her own decision about whether you meet an exception. If you are in a “gray” area like that, it would be helpful to have a lawyer who can make a legal argument and hopefully convince the government that you qualify for an exception to the 1-year rule. Take care, Jason

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Mohit August 24, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Hey Jason,
Thank you for your response about my questions about 1 year bar, is it same thing that I applied asylum 1 month before my EAD expire? If I had valid EAD when I apply asylum that means I was in status when I applied for asylum? Please let me know.Thanks again for your great efforts.

Mohit.

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Jason Dzubow August 25, 2017 at 1:45 pm

I think it depends on what type of EAD it was. If it was based on OPT, for example, and you did not have a qualifying job, then it might not excuse the one year bar. Most types of EADs indicate that you have status and would excuse the one year bar. Take care, Jason

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Jj August 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Hello Jason,
Thank you again for your time and kindness. My question is what factors determines how long the asylum decision takes after interview. I have heard from 2 weeks to 11 yrs

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Jason Dzubow August 24, 2017 at 6:28 am

I wrote about this issue on October 21, 2014 and October 20, 2015 – maybe those posts would help. Take care, Jason

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SAM August 23, 2017 at 9:46 am

Hi Mr.Jason
I have applied for Asylum in Feb-2017 and had done with biomatric process in March-2017 with my wife and under 21 year old Son. My question is that what is the result ratio as an Indian for Asylum Grant. I applied under NY jurisdiction, so can you please tell me what will be the approx interview schedule.
reply will be highly appreciated…thanks

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Jason Dzubow August 24, 2017 at 6:22 am

It is not so easy to find that info these days, and even if you find it, it really tells you very little about the success rate for your specific case. You might search on Google for “TRAC Immigration” and that website might (somewhere) have some statistics for grant rate by country. Take care, Jason

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Rohit August 23, 2017 at 12:14 am

Hi Jason
Good Evening
My Asylum case was denied in 2016 and I went to Federal court against the decision. My appeal is still pending but now im in TPS status and I also have a travel document through TPS. Here my question is can I visit and meet my family in third country not my home country ? It cause problem me to return back to USA ?
Thank You

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Jimi August 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

I am really sorry for that decision, would you mind to tell us long did it take to deliver decision after your asylum interview? Best wishes for court decision.

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Rohit August 23, 2017 at 11:14 pm

I did interview in June 1st week and got decision August 1st week.
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow August 24, 2017 at 6:10 am

I think you cannot – It sounds to me like the Immigration Court (and BIA) ordered you deported, and so if you leave, you will have deported yourself and I think you will not be able to return even with TPS/Advance Parole. I am not sure about this, and so maybe you want to hire a lawyer to research the question. The problem with researching this question is that there may not be a definitive answer and so you will have to travel without really knowing what will happen when you try to return. Anyway, maybe a lawyer could research this and find some guidance for you. If you do get an answer, please let us know. Thank you, Jason

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Adam August 22, 2017 at 10:18 am

Dear Jason,

I just want to confirm with you. I am allowed to submit the application to renew my EAD before 180 DAYS of my previous EAD expire date, is that correct? Also, my asylum case pending within the Immigration court so will I have to submit the same documents when as I did when renewed my EAD when My case use to be within the USCIS.

Thanks,

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Jimi August 22, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Nope you are allowed to apply before 120 days, not 180 days that is for first time EAD not renewal. Jimi

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 10:11 pm

I am still submitting documents 120 days before the old card expires, but I think you can now submit 180 days before it expires – you have to check the instructions for the I-765. The documents you submit to renew are the same as before, though you can also include a copy of the Notice to Appear and the most recent order listing your next court date, if you have it. Take care, Jason

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aryan August 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Hi Jason
A question related to my friend, if you can please reply on that.
Based in NY applied his first ever EAD to USCIS NY office instead of directly to TX. Got the letter from NY office saying the case is forwarded to TX for further process.
Question is 2-4 to months time period is counted the time EAD application received by NY office OR the date transferred to TX office ??
Thanks

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Aryan August 22, 2017 at 8:34 am

This morning everyone’s question is answered almost. Why my quesfion being left alone??

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Ahmat August 22, 2017 at 9:18 am

Same thing happened to me, they said ‘Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction’, I’m wondering how long does it take? thanks!

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L.F August 22, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Be patient buddy !

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm

I don’t specifically recall the time frame for our clients in NY, but in general, for most people, it is 2 to 4 months from the date you mail the EAD application. Take care, Jason

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aryan August 22, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Thank you Sir
Much appreciated.

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Halwzha August 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Hello dear jason

I applied for asylum on 2017 ,after 6 months i returned to home because of some privacy issues , I didn’t apply for advance parole, i currently have a unexpired visitor visa (it is expire on September) so can I return to the usa now ?
Yours sincerely

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Nyc August 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

I think you can not come back the US you can try but they will stop you at US airport. Then sent you back

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:39 am

If it is a B visa, you can probably board the plane to get here, but once here, you may be rejected at the airport. If that happens, you can apply for asylum at the airport, but you will probably be detained and you may have to remain detained until (and if) you win your asylum case. Also, the fact that you returned home for any reason will have a negative impact on your case, and at the minimum, you will need to explain why you returned home (with evidence). Take care, Jason

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Halwzha August 22, 2017 at 8:40 am

Dear jason

First of all i appreciate your help , according to your knowledge how long can custom detain me there ? U mean they detain me for 3 years until the judge make a decision about my case or not ? i want to mention that i didn’t withdraw my case with my lawyer but after i get home i sent an email to my asylum office to wothdraw my case but they don’t replay me untill now ,what is your advice for me ,do i face serious problem if i detain in usa airport
Yours faithfully

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm

If you are detained, cases are processed faster, so it probably would not be 3 years, but it could be 6 months or more. I suggest you try again to contact the asylum office about withdrawing your case – if you can do that, you will avoid a deportation order, and that may make it easier for your to return here. Take care, Jason

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Halwzha August 28, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Dear jason
How can i contact my asylum case’s office? Actually I tried to get their adress but just i found an email adress ,
I want to mention that My case is in Chicago asylum office ,so i want to get their phone number to contact them ,I very appreciate your help
Yours faithfully

mo August 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Hi Jason,
About 4 years ago I applied for asylum when the war in Syria at it’s at its height. I was denied asylum and issued a NOID as I was in a legal status. Now recently my employer filed AOS for me and I am expecting to receive GC in the next year or so. My question is if I travel back home (Damascus is safe) and come back to the US as a green card holder, will I face questioning about my asylum claim or face troubles?
I expect to be pulled in secondary but I want to know if there can be more grievous consequences if coming back from syria.

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:36 am

Probably not – but if the trip causes the US government to believe that your original asylum case was a fraud, then you could have problems (how there could be a “fraudulent” case from Syria, I am not sure). Keep evidence about your case so you are prepared to answer any questions that may come up about your asylum (maybe keep the evidence online in Drop box or someplace that you can access, but that will not be immediately available if your electronic devices are searched when you arrive – having such evidence on you may raise additional questions). Take care, Jason

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mo August 22, 2017 at 11:58 am

Thanks jason. In worst case scenario, will I have access to legal representation?

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 10:13 pm

If you are stopped at the airport, you will probably not have access to legal representation, but if you have to do a credible fear interview, you should be able to have an attorney present for that. Take care, Jason

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mo August 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

So worst case scenario is that they stop me at the airport if they suspect fraud. Then ask to interview me again in the airport?
My biggest fear is that they can take away my green card that I obtained through employment with due process.

mo August 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

Correction: take my green card WITHOUT due process*

S1 August 26, 2017 at 11:25 pm

Salam Mo and Jason

Mo- I’m a Syrian in a similar situation. I’m waiting for the reply to my asylum case and also have a pending TPS. My employer just initiated the GC process for me and I have not reached the AOS yet. Did you do the AOS from TPS or some other visa type?

Jason- can a AOS be done from a pending TPS?

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow August 28, 2017 at 6:14 am

I am not sure. I think if the person went from a valid status to TPS to AOS, it can be done. But if there was a gap – for example, the person went from valid status to asylum pending (and no other status) to TPS – then the person cannot adjust. My impression is that the law about this is not clearly defined anywhere, and so you should have a lawyer research the question to make sure you can adjust status (or at least that you have the most information possible about whether the AOS will succeed). Take care, Jason

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Gabriel August 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Hey Jason, an asylum-seeker here in Miami. Quite interesting your blog I’ve been reading it and I find it very useful while I’m preparing my case.

Jason, how are Venezuelan asylum cases being treated in offices and courts all around U.S? Are official reluctant to accept such cases? Some say there are pressures from members of congress to approve Venezuelan cases.

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:31 am

There are more such cases in Florida than where I am located, and so I have less of a sense for this than others. But it is largely too soon to tell. Because of the long delays in the asylum system, and the fact that most claims from Venezuela are relatively recent, my impression is that there are not a whole lot of decisions about Venezuelan cases. While I do think that some politicians are very supportive of such claims, I do not think that will have a great impact on the approval rate (though it might help in certain individual cases where the Congress person gets involved). I think Venezuelan cases will be treated like other cases, and where people demonstrate eligibility for asylum, they should be granted. You might try Googling “TRAC Immigration” and if you look on that website, maybe you can find some statistics about Venezuela. Take care, Jason

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aman August 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Hi Jason
Thanks for A informative Blog
I have some question regarding my application
I applied for asylum in june 2017 for me , my wife and one child under 18. and got receipt in Aug 2017. my question is ” can i apply for SNAP like Food and Nutrition Service ( Food Stamp ) and Medicaid for me and my family.i am in NORTH CAROLINA ( APEX)
i receive I-797 and had ASC appointment in September 2017 first week. Due to financial problem i am unable to buy good food for my family.
what can i do .. please guide me
Thanks in advance

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:26 am

I do not know about that. I recommend you Google “Catholic Charities Immigration” + the name of your closest city. If you contact that office (and they serve all immigrants, not just Catholics), they may know about such benefits. Also, if your child is in school, sometimes the school can refer you to social services. Take care, Jason

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aman August 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

Appreciate Jason

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Dave Summer August 21, 2017 at 7:56 am

Dear Jason
I had my asylum interview at Buffalo Office in April 2017. It was a circuit ride interview.They said they would contact me about the interview results soon. They have not contacted me yet. Do you have any idea when they will contact me about the interview results. Can I make any inquiries.

Dave

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:15 am

No idea. You can contact them (I may be wrong, but I think Buffalo is a circuit ride for officers from Lyndhurst, NJ) and inquire about the case. You can find their contact info (NJ) if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Dave Summer August 22, 2017 at 10:42 am

Yes it did apply at the Lyndhurst NJ office. I will contact them to inquire. Thanks Jason.

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Justin August 21, 2017 at 1:30 am

Hello Jason am sure it’s been asked already but am trying to find out can I travel to Canada with just my ayslum granted I94 and refugee travel document will I be able to enter Canada and will there be problems returning to the us will love to go for a wedding just for 2 days any advice will be good

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:40 am

You have to talk to the Canadians embassy about that – I think you will still need a visa to go there, if nationals from your country normally need a visa. As for returning to the US, if you have the Refugee Travel Document, that should be no problem. Take care, Jason

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L.F August 21, 2017 at 12:30 am

Hi Jason !
My mom and dad, they are both sick (dad very sick) i have now doc that he’s been treated by the doctor in last 2 years., should i take this doc with me in interview…
Thanks Jason

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:42 am

In my asylum office (Virginia), all documents should be submitted one week before the interview, but different offices have different rules. Contact your local asylum office to ask about that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. If you think the document is helpful to your asylum case, you should submit it (or – if it is too late to submit it under the rules – bring it to the interview and show it to the officer). Take care, Jason

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L.F August 21, 2017 at 11:46 am

I’m in NY,
When I applied for asylum my lawyer told me we need all doc, evidence, fotos etc, i did in that time
But now it’s almost 3 years and i have some new documents from doctors because health of my parents changed wich i can prove with fotos too, for example my dad changed a lot because is too sick !
Should i take in interview with me and present to officer ?
Thanks Jason

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:19 am

You should contact the local asylum office to ask their policy on this. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Some asylum office allow you to submit documents at the interview; other offices want the documents prior to the interview (and at my local office – Virginia – documents must be submitted at least one week before the interview). Take care, Jason

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FS August 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Hello,
I would like to thank you for all the rich articles and information you always post. I would like to ask u about my condition as a pending asylum applicant ; I am from one of the banned countries specifically Yemen , and the situation there is horrible and catastrophic , my question is do u think the asylum officers take into account the country conditions when approving a case ?! or they will deny a case no matter how bad the situation in the country is because this person is from those banned countries or he belongs to one of the political opposition parties and used to be a human rights activist who led and demonstrated against those who took over the power and led the military coup and caused all the choas

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:39 am

Although Yemen is a “banned” country, this does not stop you from getting asylum. We have not done a Yemeni asylum case recently, but we have had clients from other banned countries granted asylum. Also, we have had Yemeni clients get other immigration benefits since the ban went into effect (like a green card). You can apply for asylum normally. You might (or might not) face additional delays due to the security background check. And USCIS will certainly consider country conditions (and you should also give them evidence about this as part of your case – human right reports, news articles, etc.). But country conditions alone are not enough to win a case (usually). You also have to show that you specifically face a threat. Take care, Jason

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Jay August 20, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Hi jason first of all thanks for such a informative blog. Siri want to know that i applied for renewal of ead and i just check my status online and they have written that your case has been moved to another office and that office has jusrisdiction over your case now.can you please tell what this means.thanks once again

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:30 am

If this is for the EAD, it is normal – USCIS moves cases around when they process them. Take care, Jason

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Tom August 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Hi Jason! I’m goning to apply for the asylum. I’m describing my story my problem. May I ask you please, is there max volume for the story? If so how much letters or pages is the limit? Best, T.

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:27 am

There is no maximum. Our clients’ affidavit are normally 8 to 12 pages, but we have done shorter and longer. There is also no maximum for volume in terms of evidence, but remember that someone has to read all this, and if you give too much, the important parts may be lost in the volume of paper. Also, I did a blog post on this point on September 23, 2010 – maybe that would help. Take care, Jason

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Tom August 21, 2017 at 11:52 am

Jason, thank you so much for the reply!

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Asylum August 20, 2017 at 12:57 am

Hello everyone
Can someone please tell me, which year are they interviewed in atlanta Ga . I check in the schedule but i can’t see it. I will apreciate your response.

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Asylee August 20, 2017 at 4:08 am

Hi,

Atalanta GA, falls under jurisdiction of Arlington, VA asylum office. So you have to follow the scheduling bulletin of Arlington AO. You can verify the same from Asylum Office Locator and Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin links at the right side of this page.

Regards

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Asylum August 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for your response.
Does it mean that atlanta,ga has the same wait time as arlington,va. like if they are interviewing for august 20014 in arlington it will be the same thing in atlanta ?

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

Look at the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) for Arlington, VA. Atlanta is a sub-office of Arlington, and so typically, the sub-office will be slower than the main office. If I remember correctly, we had someone interviewed in Atlanta and the case was about 2 or 3 months behind the schedule for Arlington (but that may change, as it depends on how often the officers go to Atlanta to hear cases). Take care, Jason

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Asylum August 21, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Thank you Mr jason for your reply.

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Dan August 19, 2017 at 10:09 am

Hi,

Do you think that having an undocumented family member in the states affect your own chances of asylum? Given, that family member is your mother but you applied for asylum on your own and she’s only mentioned as family member and not a dependent. Thank you for your time!

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

I doubt that would affect your case, but it depends on the specifics of the situation. Take care, Jason

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Goodman August 19, 2017 at 3:39 am

Wow i m moved with article.thank you Jason you are a legend
God bless you

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

Thanks – mostly, I am just in need of a nap…

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Dev August 18, 2017 at 11:27 pm

Hello Jason
Thank you so much for your helpful insight for people like us. I had applied for asylum Aug 2013. Got the interview aug 2017 and went in to pick up decision 2 weeks later. I got “Recommended Approval” and I hope it will not be a curse in my case. I want to thank you because you provided with the mental support during the tiring wait time through your articles. Thank you so much..

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Asylee August 20, 2017 at 4:09 am

Congratulations 🙂

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Jason Dzubow August 21, 2017 at 6:06 am

Congratulations – for most people, the final approval follows in the next few weeks or months, so hopefully, that will be you. Good luck, Jason

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YC August 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

Hi Jason, thank you for helping previously. Now to submit additional evidences of worsened conditions, how do we submit text conversations to prove that the harassment is ongoing? Is it advisable or secure to screenshot those messages along with it’s cellular number displayed, print it out and attach with Supplement B? Or should blank out their cellular number for fear of the risk that it will make it too easy for US or anyone who received our documents to contact them directly? Thank you and await your response.

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Jason Dzubow August 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm

I think you should print it and include the cell number. I do not think they would contact that number, as it might violate confidentiality, and it would add credibility to the claim if the number is included. You can submit an additional evidence you want prior to the interview (in Virginia, you have to submit it at least one week before the interview, but different offices have different rules). We include a cover page/index, and tab and paginate it. We also submit an original and a copy of all evidence. Take care, Jason

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YC August 21, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Thank you Jason for your response. Will try to follow your way though I am not collecting and compilling evidence from time to time to submit at one shot. Therefore it might not be thick enough for a page/index, tab and paginate. I am planning to submit new evidences as it comes because waiting is a risk. Is this advisable or would it be inappropriate to bother the office with regular updates on the case? Thank you and await your response.

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Jason Dzubow August 22, 2017 at 6:21 am

I think you should collect all the evidence and submit it together, as it is less likely to get lost (and keep a copy for yourself). It is best to tab and index documents even if you only have 1 page of documents, but most people do not do that, and they will not reject a filing for failing to tab/paginate. Take care, Jason

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MAZ August 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Hi, Dear Jason,

I have been following your blog since I applied for Asylum 3 years ago, you are the real hope and the light house for Asylum seekers, I am pleased to inform you that after waiting of almost 3 long years today I received my approval letter.

I would like to thank you for the help you are doing for us and wish everyone on this forum Good Luck and don’t lose hope as every day pass you are closer to success.

Thanks and best regards,

M A Z

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Asylum Seeker August 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm

MAZ. First of all Congratulations on your Approval. Can you share your Timeline. How long it took for your result after the Interview.

Once Again, Congratulations.

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MAZ August 18, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Applied in September 2014
Interviewed in October 2016
Approval August 2017
(NY)

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CI August 18, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Hi MAZ,
How long did it take you to get the approval letter after the interview?

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sudan August 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Hi Maz,
Great news that you got approval.
I am also in same boat, can you tell me when and where did you apply your application? That will help us to estimate our interview date.Thanks.Sudan

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MAZ August 18, 2017 at 10:11 pm

I already share my timeline above,

Wish you all Good luck

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asylum seeker August 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Congrats maz , would you mind sharing your home country.
?

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YC August 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Congratulations! Do you have any advice for the rest of us who are still pending or haven’t interview? Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow August 20, 2017 at 9:39 pm

Thank you for sharing a congratulations! Welcome to the US of A, Jason

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Asylee August 21, 2017 at 12:32 am

Congratulations 🙂

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L.F August 18, 2017 at 11:05 am

Hi everyone
I want to tell you: one friend of mine after 2 years and 6 months got the interview in NY office
Yesterday he picked up the decision and he won the asylum case
He’s from Europe

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Sara August 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing this, L.F. I needed to hear something positive today.

Best,
Sara

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L.F August 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

I’m waiting for NY too
For this i was happy when he told me
But the rate of approval for NY is drastically changed now

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Sara August 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm

I know; you’re my NY asylum buddy 🙂

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Jimi August 18, 2017 at 1:53 pm

That’s great news, could you please share how much it takes time to deliver decision after interview?

Thanks

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L.F August 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm

In two weeks

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Sara August 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

I think it helps that he’s European. Little to no vetting required.
I could be wrong about that.

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Jason Dzubow August 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Thank you for sharing good news, Jason

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Asylumist fan August 18, 2017 at 8:14 am

Hi Jason.
I changed adresse simply by sending them email .The office replied it was changed and updated in the system. From you experience,is enough or do I still have to send them the form AR 11.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow August 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm

I thin you should send an AR-11 to be safe, but print and keep the email that they sent you so you have proof, if you ever need it. Take care, Jason

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Runner August 18, 2017 at 8:06 am

Hello Jason , this was an excellent article , really touching indeed , I wanted to ask about where do I apply for asylum if I live in Oakland , California?

Thank you and God Bless you

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Jason Dzubow August 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Got the local office website and scroll to the bottom. It shows you where to apply if it is your first application. You can find the website if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and enter your zip code. Take care, Jason

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Wadih August 18, 2017 at 1:46 am

Jason,

Does the country of citizenship as “Stateless Palestinian” make it especially difficult for people of Gaza to win asylum even with a credible fear from Hamas?

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:36 am

Palestinian cases present certain challenges – you need to show that you cannot relocate to the West Bank for example. Also, many Palestinians (at least of my clients) also have some type of refugee status in a third country or where born in a third country, and if that is your situation, you need to explain why you cannot live in that country. That said, we have done at least one case from Gaza and that person was granted asylum, so certainly it is possible to win. Take care, Jason

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steph August 18, 2017 at 1:29 am

Hi Jason,

I am on shortlist in Arlington and the first time I went there, they told me I am number 40… Last week I went again to inquire about my EAD, its been 150 days and I have not received my EAD renewal…They told me I am number 178 on shortlist. I was just perplexed and still stressed as to why they moved me to that number, the guy did not give me any explanation. Any recommendations on what i must do?. I applied for shortlist last year as soon as i got my EAD..

Thank you

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

Frankly, I do not always trust the info that you get when you make an inquiry. I doubt your case was knocked down on the list. More likely, someone made a mistake when you inquired (either with the 40 or the 178). Maybe try emailing them to ask about this. You can find their email address if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. As for the EAD, after 150 days, you need to apply for it using form I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Stephanie August 19, 2017 at 1:53 am

Thanks a lot Jasob…

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Stephanie August 19, 2017 at 1:53 am

Thanks a lot Jason…

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Raza August 17, 2017 at 10:56 pm

It’s nice to see hope in the midst of all this crazy nonsense… I have seen hope in the last few weeks like never before. Unfortunately, despite a good asylum interview that I thought went well, I got referred to immigration court in Boston (which seems like a pattern recently). I have been threatened in Iraq, almost got kidnapped, and I have a chronic disease that stemmed from all the depression and anxiety I suffered (and still do). I’ve been very lucky to have my American friends and host families that provided support as I’m trying to figure out my options away from my family.

I have a question though. Since getting the decision, I tried to appeal and USCIS didn’t respond. Now my boyfriend (who’s an American citizen) is too scared for me and my well being, and asked me to marry him in hopes of easing the process. We love each other enough to get married, but I’m not sure how this will be handled since my case got referred to the court. Can you give us an insight to how different or difficult the case would be? Do we follow the regular process of I-130 + green card application or do I need to wait for a court hearing anyway?

I appreciate your help a lot, thank you for your time.

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

I get a sense that there is some resistance to Iraqi cases at the asylum office, and we have had at least one or two that were denied when – in my opinion – they should have been granted. I will say that in general, it is easier to win such cases in the immigration court, so you should continue to be hopeful (and find a good lawyer). As for the marriage, assuming you are eligible (entered the US with a visa, no criminal record, etc.), you can marry and he can file an I-130 for you. You tell the Judge about that and probably the Judge will put the case on hold. Once the I-130 is approved, normally the Judge will terminate the case and allow you to get your GC through USCIS. Different judges do this differently, and so the process might vary, but generally, that is how it works. I highly recommend you get a lawyer to help you whether you do the I-130 or the asylum (or both), as you do not want to mess up either case, and the money you spend will be well worth it if you get your status here. Take care, Jason

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asylum seeker August 18, 2017 at 6:56 am

do you mind sharing your timeline in boston , and how long did you wait after the interview?

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Raza August 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm

I applied in July 2014 in Chicago, interviewed in Boston in May 2017. I received the decision 1 month after the interview.

Thank you for your response, Jason. I will consider your advice.

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Aylum Seeker August 18, 2017 at 9:11 am

Hi Jason,

do you have the same resistance sense for syrian cases ?

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Jason Dzubow August 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Not as much, but it is more of a feeling than anything I can quantify. Take care, Jason

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Nola August 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Hi Jason,
Wow! What a punchy and crisp article. I am happy that at least someone understands why we are here. I read this twice! Thank you so much. I should say too that your understanding and kind responses give us hope. Thanks again.

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:26 am

The feeling is mutual – Thank you, Jason

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Malkit August 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Hi, I am asylum seeker and my 150 is pending for work permit bit currently I am working in a restaurant. I am fearing that can any one complaint to ICE about my of work?
Can ICE react and arrest? What will happen if any one complaint about my status to ICE.

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Sara August 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Hi Malkit,
I think that would only pose a problem to your employer, and not to you. Jason will need to confirm this.
You’re not here illegally and should not fear the ICE.

Good luck.
Sara

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:41 am

If you get caught working illegally, you could be detained and/or put into immigration court. If that happens, you will have to pursue your asylum case with the judge instead of the asylum office. Once you have your work permit, this will no longer be an issue. From the time you file the I-765, it normally takes 2 to 4 months to get the work permit card. Take care, Jason

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Sara August 18, 2017 at 8:54 am

I apologize for the misinformation.

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Davids August 24, 2017 at 3:18 am

hi Sara
what you said is true for someone who’s working with expired work permit until he get his renewed card. I think this was what Jason said some time in the past.

Davids

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Ryan August 17, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Isn’t crazy that “F the Nazis” used to be the safest political statement that people from different political veiws used to agree with,now it attracts a debate on Twitter or Fb (even worse being labeled as Antifa/Alt left/anti-free speech).Probably we have to agree with Prince Charles when he relates climate change to Syrian civil war,Arab spring and the rise of radicalism because it looks like not exclusive to ME anymore.

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:25 am

I do think there is an economic component that helps drive radicalism, and climate change will make that worse, though more so in places like Syria that are largely agricultural. There is also the component that some people are just plain stupid, and I think that is also a factor here. Sometimes, time and life experience change people; other times, stupid wins. Take care, Jason

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DICE August 17, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Hello Jason,

I interviewed in the Chicago office last week. The interview lasted for more than 2.5 hours. It was pretty smooth and was not adversarial. But the officer went through the biographical part extremely carefully and then almost line by line through the declaration. At each section, he asked about the finest details. I don’t recall any inconsistency from my side or any occasion where the officer repeated the question adversarial.

I could not read the officer but I feel this could say two things: (1) if the the officer did not think the case has a merit after the first hour, they would have wrapped the whole thing faster (2) the officer did not feel the case had a merit and continued to solicit additional signals. What do you think?

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L.F August 17, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Would you mind sharing your timeline please
Good luck …

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CI August 18, 2017 at 1:23 am

Hi Dice,
I had an interview under chicago office last week.. My interview was one hour but the officer was not adversial and he did not ask for many details regarding places or events. I couldn’t read if the officer was positive or negative about the case. I am hoping for a good answer but i will have to wait for my mailed decision hopefully soon. Good luck, take care

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:19 am

I think there is no way to know. We have had interviews where I felt the officer was hostile towards the claim, but then the case was granted, and we have also had interviews where the officer seemed very positive and we got denied. Different officers have different styles (sometimes very different styles) and different personalities, and so predicting the outcome based on the behavior you describe is not possible. We just have to hope for the best. Good luck, Jason

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safeer August 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Hi.i applied for renewal of EAD card 120 days before.my card expired today.i check my online status but no new update.i given receipt to my employer but how i can renew my Driving licence?
And plz tell that how much i have to wait more? and what should do?or wait?

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:17 am

If you filed 120 days ago, you should call USCIS or make an Info Pass appointment to inquire about your case – you can do both at http://www.uscis.gov. Most EADs take 2 to 4 months, maybe a bit longer, but you should get the card soon. You have an automatic 180-day extension of your old EAD, and the DMV should accept that. I did a post on January 25, 2017 with links to the government websites showing the automatic extension. Maybe you could print the relevant pages and bring that to the DMV. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seeker August 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Thank you Jason for the wonderful article.
Asylum seekers including me are here because we believe in American dreams. I spent 20 years of my life on education, postdoctoral level, before moving to states. I did not resist all these years to bend now. I am here to devote rest of my life for this beautiful nation.
God bless America and Americans

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:13 am

We need you now more than ever. Thank you for being here, Jason

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Sara August 17, 2017 at 10:22 am

Very moved by this one, Jason. Thank you 😊

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Jason Dzubow August 18, 2017 at 6:10 am

Thank you. One of your posts from a few weeks ago was on my mind when I wrote it, so thank you for that. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow August 24, 2017 at 6:24 am

They cannot take away the green card without due process (a hearing before an Immigration Judge and an appeal, if need be). I suppose the real worst case scenario is that they detain you and force you to present your case before the judge, but I think that is very unlikely. Realistically, they might require you to return for follow-up interviews and then, if they think appropriate, send you to the judge. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow August 29, 2017 at 5:57 am

Calling them is often impossible, as they do not always answer the phone (though I have had luck calling the Chicago office). You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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