Basics of an Asylum Claim (Part 7)

Author: Joseph P. Murphy, Esq., Allegheny Immigration Group

Release Date: 12/25/2019 (YouTube)

Author’s Statement:

This is part 7 of a transcription of my video on asylum which you can see here. If you or someone you care about is, or is in contact with someone who may have a legitimate asylum claim, please call my office at (412)521-2000 or my cell at (412)973-3442. You can also email me at jmurphy@jmurphyfirm.com. Please visit, like and share the Allegheny Immigration Group Facebook page and the Allegheny Immigration Group Youtube Channel.

The Asylum Interview

Alright, so that you have dispensed the preliminaries, there is no schmoozing; even they have accepted the document after looking through the originals. So, what happens next? Next, the office will go over your application form for asylum claim line by line to make sure it is accurate. Don’t let that make you feel nervous. There might be some questions for you. For example, they might say, “you have listed this and this address. But here, we have a different address of yours where you might have lived.” That could feel adversarial. It might sound like somebody is challenging you. However, it is not intended that way. What they are looking for is you could simply forgot it or you could have stayed overnight or you could have said, oh yeah I remember that and I forgot to put it down then. That is fine, but they are really interested in seeing if people are really stealing people’s identity or using fake identities and they are looking for that sort of stuff. So, if the address doesn’t match up, don’t have a cow. It is not that big of a deal. But hopefully you have listed everything out on that they are going to go over line by line. They want to make sure that all these things are accurate. They want to clear up any discrepancies. Don’t want to make it is in fact your statement and that it wasn’t prepared as I said earlier by some immigration hustler who preyed on you. They are going to ask you then sign the oath. They will ask you to list out the dates of names and dates of birth of any children you have listed on the application, a spouse if you have listed a spouse, all this is double checking that this is in fact accurate, that this is in fact your statement and in your facts and again clearing up any discrepancies that there might exist in government records against your application and as I said, if any discrepancy is noted, don’t panic. It can feel like you are being challenged. You can feel like you are being accused of lying particularly with the officers making eye contact. If it is true, admit it, if it is not don’t. Lying to the government is always worse than forgetting to tell them something. If it is a lie then because what else did you accidentally forget.

As you get into it eventually you are going to be telling your story again that that is the situation where these asylum officers are great. We have identified you, the documents all appear accurate, we have kept copies to prove that we interviewed you. You have signed an oath form, they have gone over the entire application, all the names, dates of birth, places you have lived to make sure it is all accurate. In fact your statements are truthful. And there comes a point in the interview where you have to tell your story what happened to you. This can be very emotional. People cry. People get very upset. Don’t make things up. But don’t hold things back. And those are for the reason I have told you before. The government uses this process not only to evaluate adjudicator sound claims but to collect information that may be used to have somewhere else in the same situation. So, don’t hold things back even embarrassing things. I assure you that some of the hearings I have been through. But they are quite aware of how barbaric the world is down there. I am and I don’t take a couple of claims a year with those guys you know they hear it every day.

Again if they are asking for anything else that “anything else” question, you don’t want to take that to mean you haven’t supplied enough, that that’s just them making sure you feel comfortable to tell everything. I have found where people are on something they are not comfortable telling, it is usually the last thing they tell, not the first. So, the couple of anything else is gently crying you to, so to speak, spit it out might be the best deal.

At the conclusion, of the interview it can be unsettling because that person doesn’t grant or deny asylum. They simply collect your information. They may make notes an evaluation of your truthfulness. But someone else makes the final decision. So they really just say thank you to you and you will be notified by mail shortly thereafter. Although, I have seen odd cases that took quite a while for an adjudication to come through. You are legal until you either are denied or lawfully granted you wouldn’t be illegal. But if you are granted you will get a notice that your scalable application have been granted, again you have classified to that point in A01 Asylee and you will be able to get a green card eventually citizenship. If it is denied you will usually be put into what are called removal proceedings. And that is deportation because having waited a year or two for the hearing to happen, whatever status you entered the United States on has expired by then. So, now you are out of status and there is nothing legally holding you here. You are legally in the United States while you are waiting for your application to be adjudicated or not adjudicated against your favor. So you are out of status in the country and they are going to give you a notice to appear in immigration court to be deported. Interestingly enough, when you get to immigration court, you get another chance because that is a deportation proceeding and because you can assert asylum as a defensive deportation. You get to relitigate the entire original case and anything new that’s come up in your life in between. Sometimes it is even better to have it in immigration court bureaucrats in Arlington Virginia. And again I have a lot of respect for them. They may be constrained by policy and way the judges aren’t and you can develop a case much better in immigration court in my opinion. Fortunately no one starts there because it is deportation proceeding. But that is the nuts and bolts of it.

Please do like and share these videos. My name is Joe Murphy. I am a lawyer with Allegheny Immigration Group. My practice is primarily family and humanitarian immigration. I work all over the Allegheny valley region, Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland. I am available on phone. My office number is (412) 521-2000. Also my cell text and Whatsapp are all the same number 412 973 3442. And people write me, text me, call me all the time. You can too. I am here for you.

That is again the nuts and bolts of an asylum claim. If you have or anybody has question, of course some of these asylum cases are sensitive. There can be embarrassing components. There can be difficulties in the case. If anybody wanted to talk privately about that, feel free to send me a DM on Facebook, a text message. You can call my office. I am happy to talk to you.

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Joe represented me on an asylum case in San Francisco. They day I met him he took out a business card and wrote his personal cell phone number on the back. He told me to feel free to call or text any time I wanted to. I tried it and he wasn't kidding. That sort of concierge style lawyering was a real joy. S.K.
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Right after the repeal of DOMA, Joe represented me and my partner on one of Pennsylvania's first immigration cases based on same sex marriage. It was new at the time, and we weren't really sure it would work, Joe reassured us and explained how and why I had the right to file for a green card for my partner - and he made every word he told me come true. The green card was issued about 5 months later. M.M.