Remain in the US to Avoid Gang Violence
Do you wish to remain in the US to avoid gang violence? I have had experience with case like this. I met with an individual about two weeks ago, and he came to my office extremely distressed about a month ago. He’s from Guatemala. About a month ago some gang members had killed his brother for various gang related evil reasons. He’s petrified to return to Guatemala and wanted to know if he had any options to help him remain here in the US.
Remain in the US to Avoid Gang Violence | Circumstances That Would Allow It
The first thing that came to my mind was possibly filing an application for political asylum. Of course, every circumstance is different and there are many requirements that have to be met, but in general if someone is from a country and they fear persecution upon returning to their country they may be a candidate to file a political asylum application. In general, immigration requires that you file the application within one year of your arrival to the US. That’s very important.
Under certain circumstances, you can file after one year of entry and get an exception. One reason would be if there are changed circumstances, such as something that happened abroad, like a revolution or political problems or sometimes a gang problem that happened abroad that directly impacts on your life and your fear to return home. That’s important to remember, the one year filing deadline, unless you can qualify for an exception.
Remain in the US to Avoid Gang Violence | Documentation
You mainly have to be able to prove and document that you have fear of being persecuted if you were to return home. You have to be able to document this. Your fear can be based on your nationality, your race, your religion, your gender, your political opinion, being a member of a particular social group. Those are all legitimate fears to be the basis for fear of your returning home and being persecuted.
Everything has to be documented. Perhaps with Internet information or it would be affidavits by family members or other members of the community that have been witnesses to certain events. You might need medical reports or death certificates. The more documentation that you can obtain, the better, because eventually you will be having an interview at the asylum office or in front of an immigration judge. You have to present all your documentation, so the more the better.
Remain in the US to Avoid Gang Violence | Filing for Asylum
That is my thought for this individual. Probably filing for political asylum would make sense. If you have a similar situation where you come from a country where there is a lot of turmoil, political turmoil or religious persecution or gender persecution, then it’s something that would make sense for us to talk about and we can evaluate your ability to obtain documentation and to be successful. Once you file your political asylum application, after six months you are eligible to file for a work permit, an employment authorization document. That’s a very useful document to have.
Assuming your asylum application is granted, then one year later you would be eligible to file for a green card if there are quota numbers available. I think it’s about 10,000 per year that can file for a green card. If the quota has been met, then you would be on the long waiting list, but eventually you could file for adjustment of status and obtain your green card. That’s a really great benefit, and of course when you have your green card and eventually become a citizen, you can sponsor other family members as well. That’s my recommendation for filing for political asylum. Gather as much documentation as you can and give it a lot of serious thought, because it’s a long process and it can be very complicated. Please give my office a call today to set up a meeting.