A recent news story relates how passing the “credible fear” interview for immigrants looking for asylum in the U.S. has become a much more formidable task under the Trump administration. When these individuals present themselves at the U.S. border seeking asylum, they are referred to an asylum officer to conduct what is commonly referred to as a “credible fear” interview. The officer then evaluates the circumstances that have caused the individual to seek asylum to make a determination about whether the individual has a credible fear of persecution or harm in his or her home country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion. If the officer does not find the existence of credible fear, he or she will recommend that the individual be sent back home, thus preemptively cutting off what otherwise might be a year-long asylum process.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently tightened restrictions on those that qualify for asylum in a ruling that effectively eliminates asylum as an option for most Central Americans fleeing gang or drug violence in their native countries, as well as individuals from any countries seeking respite from domestic violence.
These restrictions only contribute to a credible fear interview process that already is difficult. Interviewees rarely have lawyers or advocates present with them, the interviews sometimes are conduct via telephone, and evidence routinely must be translated into for the officer to understand. Individuals also may lack an understanding of the credible fear standard and thus withhold critical information that might help their claims. Lawyers and advocates already are seeing a sharp decrease in the number of individuals who pass the credible fear interview and are formally permitted to seek asylum in the U.S.
When you or a loved one is facing an immigration law problem, you need legal advice and counsel from experienced Texas immigration attorneys. At Peek & Toland, we are here to help you with your immigration case. We will devote all of our efforts to representing your interests, answering your questions, and calming your concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact Peek & Toland and schedule a time to meet with us today. We can help protect your rights and get you the relief that you need.