Although many people still refer to Asylum as "Political Asylum," foreign nationals can qualify for asylum status if they fear persecution for various other reasons as well, including their religion, nationality, race, or membership in a particular social group. An asylum applicant's fear of persecution must be both objective and subjectively reasonable, and the persecution must either be by the government itself, or a group of persons that the government is unable or unwilling to control.
Applicants may apply for asylum "affirmatively," or while they are not in removal proceedings, by submitting an application to their local USCIS asylum office. Alternatively, once an individual has been issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) and is in removal proceedings, they may submit an asylum application to the immigration judge in what is known as a "defensive" application.
Grossman Law Attorneys Sandra Grossman and Rachel Zoghlin published an article on asylum in Bender's Immigration Bulletin: Free Speech Crisis in Latin America: Making Use of the Inter-American and U.S. Asylum Law Systems for the Protection of the Rights of Journalists, Media Owners, and Whistleblowers. También está disponible en español: La crisis de la libertad de expresión en Latinoamérica: El uso del Sistema Interamericano y el Sistema Jurídico de Asilo en los Estados Unidos para la Protección de los Derechos de los Periodistas, Propietarios de Medios de Comunicación e Informantes.
Grossman Law attorneys have successfully assisted clients from across the globe in a wide variety of asylum claims, including:
- A Venezuelan TV station owner, who was persecuted because of the broadcast's critiques of the government;
- Numerous Latin American women (including from Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras) who have survived brutal abuse at the hands of their former partners and fathers of their children;
- An Afghan student who was actively involved in organizations that promote peace and democracy in the Middle East;
- A Zimbabwean political activist and rallied against the authoritarian President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party; and
- A man from Cote D'Ivoire who supported and participated in a minority opposition political party.
To schedule a consultation with Grossman Law to determine if you qualify for asylum, email us here.