The number of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum in the United States is skyrocketing, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Asylum Requires “Credible Fear”
Undocumented asylum seekers must persuade a federal asylum officer that they have a “credible fear” of returning to their home countries. By claiming they face harm or even death if returned, undocumented asylum seekers may become eligible for months-long proceedings that allow them to remain in the United States. Immigrants seeking asylum are especially prevalent in the immigration courts and facilities along the Texas border.
Asylum by the Numbers
In the fiscal year that ended September 30, 27,546 immigrants made credible-fear claims after entering the U.S., according to DHS statistics. That figure is up from 10,730 credible-fear claims in fiscal 2012 and only 3,273 as recently as 2008. A majority entered through Mexico, although many originally came from Africa and Asia.
Most Asylum Claims Are Denied
In the end, immigration judges will deny most petitions for asylum. Some petitioners, however, go free on bail and disappear into America’s huge urban immigrant communities. In fiscal 2012, more than 8,000 asylum-seeking immigrants failed to appear for court dates.
Who Applies for Asylum?
Those who cross into the U.S. as undocumented immigrants are still a minority among those who are seeking asylum. Many who apply are already here legally on legitimate visas. Many others apply from overseas.
Sam Shihab & Associates Can Help
If you are seeking asylum or facing any other kind of immigration-related legal matter, speak right away to an experienced Columbus immigration attorney and get the help you need.
You may also be facing a problem with work authorization documents, a visa, a violation of U.S. law, or you may be seeking residency or citizenship. A good immigration lawyer will evaluate your personal situation, give you sound advice, and work to protect your rights.
If you are an immigrant facing a hearing, a trial, or a threat of deportation, please get the legal help you need and talk with one of our experienced immigration attorneys today. Our full suite of immigration law areas of expertise is available to residents of Ohio, Michigan, Texas, as well as nationwide.
Contact us today.