New Rules are Set to Create Additional “Asylum Bars”

The new rules currently being challenged in court by advocates will set new asylum bar.

This means whoever is convicted of these crimes will not be eligible to apply for asylum after November 20th, 2020. The crimes must have been committed after Nov 20th, 2020.

These crimes will cause a granted asylee to lose his status–termination of asylum status. These crimes will NOT cause a granted refugee lose his/her status, however generally refugees are subject to removal under INA § 237, if they receive criminal convictions or conduct after being admitted.

The new bars are “additional limitation” to asylum under INA § 208(b)(2)(C). But what are the new categories of crime that affect asylum? Under 8 CFR §§ 208.13(6)(c), 1208.13(6)(c) these crimes are as followed:

1- Any felony offense

2- DUI that caused injury

3- Repeating DUI (California wet reckless—reckless driving– may or may not qualify)

4- Possession or use of false identity documents (Except for using documents to board a carrier to escape persecution, if one turns oneself in immediately upon arrival to the United States)

5- Possession or sale of a controlled substance or paraphernalia (Except for a single incident involving possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana

6- Wrongful use of public benefits

7- A crime involving a conduct relating or resulting to a crime of domestic violence for example, a crime of  Child abuse Child neglect Child abandonment Stalking (does not need to be a deportable offense under the domestic violence rules) There is an exception for a person who is not the primary perpetrator or violence and is otherwise qualified under INA 237(a)(7), 8 USC 1227(a)(7).

8- Gang crime. A “crime” that the judge “knows or has reason to believe the offense was committed in support, promotion, or furtherance of activity of a criminal street gang” as defined under the convicting jurisdiction or under 18 USC 521(a).

9- Federal conviction for the following Transporting, harboring, or smuggling, even if it is to help close family escape persecution and Illegal re-entry after removal10- Conduct, without conviction, committed on or after the 11/20/2020. Adjudicator knows or has reason to believe that the applicant engaged in acts of battery or extreme cruelty as defined at 8 CFR § 204.2(c)(1)(vi) (the extremely broad definition that is used for VAWA), in a domestic relationship. Criminal immigration is a complex subject.

It allows the government to implement multiple restrictions and take away many privileges that an asylee or refugee may receive under protection of the United States government. Sometimes the situation is not “black and white”.

There were “mitigating circumstances” or “events” that may be considered. Sometimes this was a onetime act and the perpetrator is extremely sorry for what he/she has done under circumstances.

Whatever the reasons , it is very important to get in contact with an attorney who understands the relevance of criminal laws and immigration consequences. You may lose your Green Card, asylum status, or may even jeopardize your chances of becoming a “citizen” if you just plead guilty or agree to terms that can't be taken back.

An immigration system wants “model immigrants” to come in and stay. But sometimes the “second chances” are appropriate. If you, your friends or your loved ones have been in “trouble with the law” contact an attorney that understands your position.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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