WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
To seek asylum in the United States (U.S.), you must ensure that you meet the definition of a refugee as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and it says:
Any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality, or in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group (PSG) , or political opinion.
Following the above definition of asylum, every potential asylum seeker in the U.S. must bucketise his/ her claim into one or more of the under mentioned: Race, Religion, Nationality, Political Opinion or PSG (this last one is considered an identifiable group of people viewed by their government or the persecutor as a threat).
We would like to share with you a short case about a man from Ghana that attempted to seek asylum in the U.S. and what he experienced while trying to cross the border. He got arrested by immigration officials. The rest is history.
Amuike was arrested by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents while trying to cross into the U.S. through the Mexican border. The following ensued:
CBP AGENT: What is your name
AMUIKE: My name is Amuike Igbanke
CBP AGENT: What is the name of your country
AMUIKE: I am a citizen of Ghana
CBP AGENT: Can I see your passport?
AMUIKE: I don’t have it
CBP AGENT: How can you prove that you are from Ghana?
AMUIKE: God is my witness.
CBP AGENT: What do you want?
AMUIKE. I want to enter America and seek Asylum
CBP AGENT: What are your reasons for seeking asylum
AMUIKE: For better life in America. The economy in Ghana is very bad. The Ghanaian Government is killing people from my tribe.
The CBP agent arrested and detained Amuike. After three days in detention, Amuike was deported back to Ghana.
When someone intends to cross through the U.S. border claiming asylum and gets detained by CBP, it is very likely that the officer would do a credible fear interview that sustains what the person is claiming.
According to this particular interview, Amuike was detained and sent back to his country of origin because he didn’t comply with the INA criteria mentioned above.
After reading this, if you think that you or someone you know may qualify for asylum please remember:
§ The fact that there is war in your country or civil strife does not automatically entitle you to an asylum grant.
§ The fact that the Government of your country is killing members of your ethnic group does not guarantee that your asylum application will be granted.
However, if the persecution or alleged persecution is not by the Government or any of its agencies, but by a group which the Government is unable to control, you must show that the Government is unable to control that group.
§ You are expected to show that you’re credible in your application and possible testimony.
§ In most cases, corroboration is required to satisfy the court or trier of fact that your claim is believable, in other words, you would have to gather evidence of the facts that you are alleging.
But where you can show that your testimony is credible, an asylum application may be granted without corroboration.
Very important: If you are in the U.S. don’t forget that you are expected to apply for asylum within one year after your last entry into the country. This is known as the asylum one year deadline.
For proper guidance on asylum issues in the U.S., always contact an experienced immigration attorney.
We hope this information was useful. Visit our webpage for more information on asylum issues in both English and Spanish languages.
The Law Offices of Uzoma Ubanii PLLC