If you fear returning to your country because past persecution or future
persecution, you may apply for political asylum in the United States.
In most cases, you must apply for political asylum within one year of
your last entry into the United States. If you succeed in proving your
case, you are admitted as a refugee. A refugee is defined as any person
who is outside their country who is unable or unwilling to return to that
country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on
account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership
in a particular social group. In addition, you must also be unable to
avail yourself of protection from that country.
The “nexus” requirement is one of the more difficult to prove
when applying for asylum. Unfortunately, many people are harmed or threatened
in their countries, but not all with a nexus to a qualifying ground. An
asylum seeker must show that the harm they suffered or fear has a nexus
to the qualifying ground. In essence, this means that the asylum seeker
must demonstrate that the persecutor has a motive connected to one of
In other words, the asylum seeker must possess a belief or characteristic
that the persecutor seeks to overcome, the persecutor is already aware
of this characteristic or belief, the persecutor has the ability to punish
the asylum seeker, and the persecutor has the inclination to punish the
On May 11, 2005, President George Bush signed into law the REAL ID Act
of 2005. Among other things, this law directly affected asylum seekers
in the United States and how they must prove their cases. One of the changes
this law made was that the asylum applicant must show that his or her
race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or
political opinion “was or will be at least one central reason for”
the persecution that occurred or will occur. Another change in asylum
law resulting from this law is that the asylum seeker must provide corroborating
evidence that is reasonably available or explain why such evidence was
not provided. This is a twist on the former rule that testimony alone
could allow the asylum seeker to meet his or her burden of proof. While
the burden on the asylum seeker is heavier in terms or corroborating evidence,
credible and plausible testimony alone can still suffice to meet the burden.
The Atlanta immigration lawyers at Pozo Goldstein, LLP possess the experience
it takes to represent asylum seekers in their quest for the protection
of the United States. Our partners are comprised of two former immigration
prosecutors and a former judge. This unique team has represented clients
for both the U.S. Government and people like you seeking political asylum
and presided over cases involving criminal and immigration issues.
through our website NOW for a free in-house consultation.