A person inside the United States can obtain asylum for himself or herself (and derivatively for the asylum applicant’s spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years old) if he or she can demonstrate that he or she has suffered past persecution or has a well founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Persecution in some circumstances may include, but is not limited to, physical abuse, mental abuse, interference with a person’s privacy, being forced to live in substandard dwellings, exclusions from work or educational institutions, constant surveillance, forced family planning, mutilation, etc. Whether or not a individual was or might be persecuted, or has a well founded fear of persecution, is a matter of interpretation. Persecution must amount to more than mere harassment or annoyance. Persecution can be either by the government or a group that the government cannot or will not control. If the applicant can establish past persecution, there is a presumption of future persecution. If past persecution is established there is a presumption of persecution and the burden shifts to the government to rebut that presumption. It is up to the applicant to prove a nexus (meaning that there is a relationship) between the past or feared persecution and its connection to the race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion of the applicant.
An asylum applicant only needs to show that there is a reasonable possibility that he or she will be persecuted. The well founded fear must be established both subjectively (meaning that the applicant actually has the fear) and objectively (meaning that there are specific facts through objective evidence or through persuasive credible testimony and that this evidence would cause a reasonable person to experience a fear of persecution). According to the important case of Matter of Mogharrabi, 19 I&N Dec. 439 (BIA 1987), there are 4 elements that the asylum applicant must show in order to establish a well-founded fear of persecution (1) the applicant possesses a belief or characteristic a persecutor seeks to overcome in others by means of punishment of some sort; (2) the persecutor is already aware, or could become aware, that the applicant possesses this belief or characteristic; (3) the persecutor has the capability of punishing the applicant; and (4) the persecutor has the inclination to punish the applicant.
In order to gain asylum, the alien must persuade the Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge that he or she is credible. It is recommended that you hire the experienced immigration lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC
to handle your asylum claim. Pursuant to the REAL ID Act, an Immigration Judge may grant asylum based on the testimony of the applicant, but only where the applicant is credible, is persuasive, and refers to specific facts sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant is a refugee. Unless the Asylum Officer and/or Immigration Judge is satisfied that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain the evidence, the Asylum Officer and/or Immigration Judge may require additional evidence to corroborate the applicant’s testimony. In the vast majority of cases, due to the REAL ID Act, corroboration is required. What will be considered as corroborating evidence depends upon the specific facts of the applicant’s case. Examples of items which may constitute corroborating evidence include: affidavits, letters, newspaper articles, arrest records, medical records, photographs, etc., etc. Obviously, the quality, quantity, and credibility of the corroborating evidence all play a role in the decision reached as to the claim for asylum. All exhibits in a language other than English must have certified translations provided.