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ASYLUM

The United States as a country was founded on personal and political freedom. To guarantee such freedom to all who flee from their own oppressive government to seek liberty and a better life, the US government established asylum laws to give legal status to qualifying foreign nationals. However, asylum status is a legal status that is not easily granted (more than half are denied) and the applicant bears the heavy burden of proving that he or had experienced past persecution in their home country, or that he has a well-founded fear of persecution if sent back.

Asylum application began with the filing of the application with the appropriate USCIS asylum office. After the application is received and processed, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview to go before an asylum officer in a few months. At the interview, the asylum officer may ask any question to determine eligibility and credibility of the applicant, and the officer will also take into consideration the applicant's demeanor and consistency in applicant's story. It is unwise to me coached before the interview, and the best advice the applicant will receive is to go into the interview feeling relaxed and ready to tell a story. To paint a clear picture of the applicant's story, it is absolutely crucial for applicants to draft a detailed and coherent declaration.

Asylum applicants from People's Republic of China ("China") have a few distinct advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the Chinese government is an oppressive regime, and persecution and human rights violations are rampant. There are many approved asylum cases based on persecution arising out of birth control, religion and political activism. However, due to the lack of a consistent civil and government record system, asylum applicants from China often are unable to obtain crucial documentations relating to the persecution they experienced in China because they are denied access or lack the necessary personal connections. Additionally, this problem is exacerbated by the unfortunate fact that immigration fraud from China is so prevalent that US immigration officers are immediately biased toward asylum applications from China, resulting in cases being unfairly denied.

Many Chinese asylum applicants unwittingly became victims of immigration fraud. Due to the lack of viable paths toward legalization, new immigrants from China are often forced into filing asylum applications as their last resort. They are referred to "immigration consultants" who have no legal license and do not have the proper experience and knowledge to help applicants through the asylum application process. They also cannot represent applicants in immigration court, should the case be denied and forwarded to an immigration judge. Chinese asylum applicants are defrauded for thousands of dollars and given false promises that they will be able to get a work permit soon after filing their cases.

US Asylum and Refugee law is a complex body of regulations that necessitates the hiring of an immigration attorney to represent the applicant and put together a successful case. If you are contemplating filing an asylum application, you must consult with an immigration attorney who has experience in filing for asylum. You must find out whether the attorney is properly licensed and whether you feel comfortable working with your attorney. Asylum could turn out to be a long process if referred to the court, so having a professional that you are comfortable working with is essential. Before speaking to an attorney, you should also try your best to gather any official or commercial documents relating to past or future persecution from your home country.

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