If you arrive at a U.S. border, hoping to gain asylum so that you can enter California or another state, you rely on immigration officials to acknowledge and grant your need for protection. Because the U.S. government denies many requests for protected legal status, it’s important to know ahead of time what types of issues immigration officials are likely to consider the most legitimate reasons for granting a request.
While you might think it’s logical to assume that, if you have fled persecution, violence or poverty, you will be able to enter and stay in the United States, things don’t always work out as you might hope. In fact, there are a number of legal obstacles that might arise that might extend the time you have to spend in detention or even place you at immediate risk for removal.
Proving a credible fear
The U.S. government may be willing to grant you asylum if you can show evidence of credible fear, meaning legitimate reasons why it’s not safe for you to stay in your country of origin. Such reasons often include threat of persecution due to race, ethnicity, religious affiliation or political opinion.
If you can convince U.S. immigration officials that you are fleeing oppression or that your life is in imminent danger in your country of origin, you increase the chances of obtaining asylum in this country.
History of asylum in U.S. and around the globe
Following World War II, many families faced devastation, and people were left homeless or faced abject poverty in their households and communities. In 1951, the United Nations defined the term “refugee,” which set the protocol in countries throughout the world for helping to protect those in need due to persecution, violence, poverty and other issues.
Protected status for family members
If the U.S. government grants your request for asylum, you will be living and working under a protected legal status. This status would also possibly enable you to seek status protection for your spouse or child as well.
The government must fully process each application by its own merit. If you arrive at a U.S. border, requesting asylum, you can expect detainment. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers would no doubt keep you in custody while officials review your case to determine whether to grant your request or activate removal proceedings. There are immigrant advocates in California who are well-versed in U.S. immigration law and who often provide guidance and support to asylum seekers and their families.