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Affirmative Asylum Immigration Lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ


Elizabeth, NJ is the home of many Citizens and Permanent Residents that were not born in the United States. The diversity of the residents attracts many Asylum Seekers to the City of Elizabeth, NJ. The Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC represents Asylum seekers who are unwilling or unable to return to his or her home country because of past persecution or a "well founded fear" of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. INA § 101(a) (42)

Any undocumented person who enters the United States will face many perils because of the inability to legally work within the Country. Asylum offers people who quailfy under the statute to obtain Employment Authorization Documents and work legally within the United States. The Attorney Charles Dawkins Jr. Esq. has been practicing law for over 20 years and he has represented clients in Affirmative Asylum and Defensive Asylum Hearings, and Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals

Understanding the Affirmative Asylum Process in Elizabeth, NJ.

The asylum process in the United States offers protection to individuals who have fled their home country and are unable to return due to a fear of persecution. 

As mentioned above in order to qualify for asylum, a person must be a refugee and in the United States when they apply for protection. Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as someone who is unable to return to their home country due to persecution or a fear of persecution based on their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

What are Examples of Reasons That Different Federal Circuit Courts have deemed persecution for Asylum?

Elizabeth, NJ is within the jurisdiction of the 3rd Circuit Federal Court. At the Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC the goal is to first be forthright as to the facts of the applicant's case and secondly, to present the best possible Asylum case. Some Circuit Courts have held the below as persecution for Asylum:

  • Rape or Sexual Assault Shoafera v. INS, 228 F.3d 1070, 1074 (9th Cir. 2000)
  • Female genital mutilation Barry v. Gonzales, 445 F.3d 741, 745 (4th Cir. 2006) Mohammed v. Gonzales, 400 F.3d 785, 796 (9th Cir. 2005); Abay v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 634, 638 (6th Cir. 2004); Abankwah v. INS, 185 Fd. 3d 18, 23 (2d Cir. 1999; Matter of Kasinga, 21 I&N Dec. 357,365 (BIA 1996)
  • Forbidding Person from practicing his or her religion Bucur v. INS, 109 F.3d 399, 405 (7th Cir. 1997)

The Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC is licensed to practice law in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

     There are two pathways to applying for asylum in the United States. 

  1. If you're in the United States and are in removal (deportation) proceedings, you can proactively apply for affirmative asylum. 
  2. If removal proceedings have already been started against you in immigration court, you can apply for defensive asylum. 

You can file for affirmative asylum regardless of your immigration status in the United States—whether you hold another temporary visa like a student visa, your immigration status has lapsed or expired, or you entered the United States illegally.

The asylum process is a pathway to permanent residency. You can apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum. 

How to File for Affirmative Asylum In Elizabeth, NJ.

To apply for affirmative asylum, you must be present in the United States or at a port of entry. You can remain in the United States while your application is being processed. 

Form I-589

To start an affirmative asylum application, you must complete and file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

This must be done within one year of your arrival in the United States. There are some limited exceptions to this timeframe, such as where your circumstances have changed affecting your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances caused the delay.  The asylum seeker should consult and attorney for specific direction regarding particular case.

USCIS should send you confirmation of receipt of your application within 30 days. However, most USCIS functions are behind schedule and the person due to the COVID epidemic.

Biometrics Appointment

In addition to confirmation that your application has been received, USCIS will also send you a biometrics appointment notice. You must attend an application support center on your allocated day for your fingerprints to be taken. If the Asylum seeker has a criminal record, it is important to reveal the extent of the record whether the record was obtained in the United States or any other country.

Elizabeth, NJ. Asylum Appointment

After providing your fingerprints, you will receive a notice of your appointment with USCIS at one of its offices. You can bring an attorney or accredited representative, an interpreter, and your spouse and children to the appointment (if they are applying for derivative asylum). 

Under the INA, an asylum interview should be conducted within 45 days of an application being filed, but as mentioned above the USCIS is often behind due to Covid epidemic.

USCIS Decision

A USCIS officer then decides whether you have a legitimate asylum claim. Under the INA, an affirmative asylum application should be decided within 180 days of an application being filed, unless exceptional circumstances exist. However, it's not uncommon for decisions to take longer. 

The USCIS Officer is just like an Immigration Judge. They have experience and they are familiar with all regulations and applicable law.

 Elizabeth, NJ. Immigration Court

If it is unclear whether your asylum claim is legitimate, USCIS will refer your matter to an immigration court to decide. In this situation, you become a defensive asylum seeker.  During this process, the Asylum seeker may qualify for an Employment Authorization Card.

Challenges to Affirmative Asylum

The affirmative asylum process is complex. Here are some common challenges applicants face. 

  • Nature of the immigration legal system. Immigration laws are constantly changing, especially following changes in government. Recently, significant and rapid changes were made to the asylum application process in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Serious penalties for fraud. It is essential you complete your asylum application truthfully. If you make a fraudulent asylum application or lie about an important fact, the court may find you have made a “frivolous” application. This can result in a lifetime ban from applying for any U.S. immigration benefits. 
  • Length of process. Despite the timeframes under the INA, the volume of applications and the COVID-19 pandemic have created a large backlog of affirmative asylum applications and lengthy wait times for decisions. 
  • Proving date of entry. If you entered the United States without inspection (for example, by illegally crossing the border), it can be difficult to prove your entry date and show you are applying within the one-year time frame. 
  • Risk of removal. If an immigration court rejects your asylum claim, and you do not hold any other valid visa, the court can order your removal from the United States. These orders typically prevent you from returning to the United States for several years. It also places you at risk of being returned to the country you fled from. 
  • Lack of credible evidence. The Asylum seeker should seek all the evidence from family members, articles, country reports or any source to verify the basis for asylum.
  • Lack of credibility. If the Asylum seeker is adjudicated as incredible in testimony, the USCIS Asylum Officer may deny the Asylum Applicatio.

An asylum immigration lawyer can assist you with your affirmative asylum application and help you navigate these potential challenges. 

Where Can I Find Procedures For Applications Affirmative Asylum In Elizabeth, NJ?

As mentioned above, an Applicant should seek legal Counsel for Affirmative Asylum. However, the reality is that some people represent themselves in Affirmative Asylum Hearings. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum Division has published a Manual for the public entitled "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum Division Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manuel. (AAPM) The Immigration Attorney will be familiar with this manual as well as other useful legal treatises to effectively represent the client. Moreover, Immigration Law is constantly changing the Immigration Attorney can check whether the Infomation is the most up to date information. The Inspector Field Manuels (IMF) are helpful information, but an experienced Immigration Lawyer is in the best position to put all the information in proper legal context.

Contact an Experienced Affirmative Asylum Immigration Lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ. Today.

Asylum is the protection you deserve if you have faced persecution or have a well-founded fear of facing persecution upon returning to your home country. Our Elizabeth, NJ. Iimmigration attorney can help you make sure you put forth your best effort to get this protection. Contact Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr. LLC. today by filling out the online form or calling us at  908-962-9929 to schedule a Consultation.

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