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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Family, Without More, Can Be a Reason to Request Asylum

      Asylum is protection given to foreigners who may be harmed in their home countries.  The person applying must prove the fear is real and the reason for the harm.  In some countries, people may be harmed because their family members were harmed.  For example, in Guatemala, after a gang kills a father, they may continue pursuing the mother or the remaining children.
     Recently, the First Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that family is a particular social group.  So, someone can apply for asylum based on that "social group" alone, without also having to prove that they were attacked based on their political opinion or other reason.  See information on that court decision by clicking here.
     If you know someone who is in fear of being hurt in their home country after a close family member was harmed, please have that person call the Broward law firm of Blandon Law at (954) 385-0157.  We work exclusively in immigration and are nationally recognized experts in asylum.  Everyone at Blandon Law speaks Spanish.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LGBT From Ukraine Likely to Seek Asylum

     Sadly, much of Ukraine is homophobic and does not believe in equal rights for members of the LGBT community.  The human rights country report on Ukraine for 2013 noted country-wide reports of intolerance for gays.  Many of those complaints included violence or the threat of violence based on a person's sexual identity.  In addition, even Ukrainian law enforcement officials participated in harassment and failed to investigate hate crimes.
Church of Mary Magdalene     With Russia's de facto invasion, the situation has undoubtedly become worse.  If LGBT activists hold pro-rights activities, Putin will use that as propaganda to sway Ukrainians away from the European Union.  In Russia, LGBT persons are routinely assaulted.  So, what choice would you make?  Stay mute in the Ukraine until the Russian bear passes or come to the U.S. for a chance at a better life?
     Yes, that's what they will do, too.
     If you know anyone who is or may be seeking asylum, have that person contact the Broward law firm of Blandon Law at 954.385.0157. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Difference a Good Lawyer Makes -- Danger in Home Country is Not Enough to Stay in U.S.

     In 2013, two hundred and fifty percent (250%) more people asked for asylum after crossing the border than in 2012.  This put a huge strain on the Dept. of Homeland Security.  Asylum officers were asked to conduct interviews day after day to find out if these foreigners had a believable (credible) fear of returning to their countries.  Of course, most did.
     As a result, these thousands of foreigners had their cases heard A SECOND TIME by Immigration Judges.  Lots of money lost paying salaries to Asylum Officers.
     This year, the Dept. of Homeland Security responded by changing the training lessons for these officers.  Now, before foreigners are allowed to stay in the U.S. and prove their case in court they will need to show Asylum Officers that they have a "substantial and realistic possibility of succeeding" in Court.  Even foreigners who are realistically afraid to return to their countries will be returned.
     An experienced asylum attorney, like those at Blandon Law in Broward County, Florida, will provide the Asylum Officer with substantial country information.  This research is obtained from the internet and from our hundreds of asylum clients throughout the world.
      If your relative or friend is detained, please call (954) 385-0157 before the Asylum Officer interview.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why So Long for Asylum Interview? The Backlog Explained

     The Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) is experiencing HEAVY delays in scheduling asylum applicants for interviews.  This is because more persons are applying for asylum during the last three years than in a very long time.  CIS officers have also been asked to work on credible fear interviews instead of asylum interviews.  A credible fear interview involves several hours of questioning for persons who are detained and fear returning to their home country.
     If applicants fear that their lives or the lives of loved ones back home may be harmed due to this delay, contact the Florida law firm of Blandon Law at (954) 385-0157 immediately.  We may be able to expedite the case.
     In addition, withdrawing the application may result in the case being sent to Immigration Court.  In some parts of the United States, it is faster to be heard by an Immigration Judge than to get an appointment with a CIS asylum officer.  Before taking this step, please consult with an experienced immigration expert as there are consequences to withdrawing or rescheduling.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Asylum for Landowners - Colombia, Venezuela or Any Other Country

     In many countries, leftist terrorist groups attack landowners.  If these landowners are in the United States, they should consider applying for asylum especially given the recent Seventh Circuit court. The appellate reviewers found that the Colombian landowner suffered because he refused to cooperate with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The case is
N.L.A., H.O.P.M., and S.L.P.L. v. Holder.
    The court found that the harm the IJ and BIA described as "derivative" was not derivative at all and that the FARC's threatening and kidnapping of the applicant's father was meant as a direct threat to the landowner. This is a developing area of law and, for that reason, it is important to be represented by an expert in the area.
     If you or someone you know has been threatened with harm because of land ownership, please call the Broward County law firm of Blandon Law at (954) 385-0157.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Asylum for the Deaf

      Foreign nationals who are harmed in their home country because of their membership in a "particular social group" are allowed to remain in the United States.  They get a work permit, a travel permit and, eventually, a green card.
Paul Balhut and Michelle Hallern are communicating with pure America Sign Language in Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Links Course.      Persons who are deaf can get asylum if they fear returning to their home country.  This is because persons who are deaf not only have a disability, but also their own culture.  They have their own language and a set of shared experiences.  That makes them part of a particular social group.  Sadly, in many societies, they are often cast aside by family members and harmed by police and other government authorities.  In some countries, persons who are deaf are not even allowed to go to school.  Such mistreatment can qualify as persecution.
     If you know a foreign national who is deaf and has suffered, please have that person -- or their loved one -- contact the Broward county immigration law firm of Blandon Law at (954) 385-0157.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Instead of Voting on Immigration Reform, Republicans Waste Time Looking for Fraud Among Victims

      While millions wait for a yes or no vote on immigration reform, two Republicans are instead wasting taxpayer money on a hearing about fraud in the asylum system. 
      Representative Goodlatte (R-VA) is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Representative Gowdy (R-SC) is the Chairman of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee.
        What you will not hear the Republicans saying:
  • that effective anti-fraud measures already exist in the adjudications process
  • that mandatory detention for asylum seekers does not improve national security
  • that government resources are already insufficient to detain foreigners
  • that the asylum processing time would be shortened if funds were allocated to the courts
        View the video by clicking here.  Then, contact your U.S. representative and tell them you want them to vote yes or no on immigration reform.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Landowners and Those Who Oppose Gangs May Be Able to Get Asylum Under New PSG Definition

    Thirty years after the first case that defined "particular social group" in asylum, the Board of Immigration Appeals has just published a new case with a more detailed definition.  It can be read here.
    Thanks to the fact that  foreigners who are members of a particular social group can get protection in the U.S., gays, victims of domestic violence, former police members, and others are here legally.  In this case, the Board was trying to decide whether "youth from Honduras who do not want to join a gang."
    In order to obtain asylum as a member of a particular social group, foreigners must demonstrate that they are "socially distinct within their societies."  In other words, they need to show how others know they are different.  A "successful case will require evidence that members of the proposed particular social group share a common immutable characteristic, that the group is sufficiently particular, and that it is set apart within the society in some significant way."

Monday, February 3, 2014

Virtual Library of Country Conditions Helps Win Asylum

     A new website makes information available for the conditions of each country.  The link is found here.  This research is important because a foreigner may be able to reopen her case if the conditions of her homeland have worsened.
Image Ref: 1043-39-56 - Old Library Books, The Literary and Philosophical Society Of Newcastle upon Tyne, Viewed 11163 times
     When we represent asylum applicants, Blandon Law uses this research, and looks for other articles.  Recently, we have won asylum cases for persons from Central and South America based on the terrible conditions in El Salvador and Venezuela.
     If the situation in your home country has worsened, please call the Broward County law firm to see how we can help you.  The phone number is (954) 385-0157.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Asylum Win for Client, Domestic Violence Victim from Central America

     On January 24, 2013, Blandon Law won asylum for a woman from El Salvador, who was in deportation proceedings before an Immigration Court judge.  She was a victim of domestic violence and feared she would be killed by the father of her children if she returned to her country.
     Survivors of domestic violence do not automatically win protection in the U.S., so we were very glad to be able to help our client.
     We organized evidence for her and prepared her for the hearings before the Immigration Judge, to be sure she completely answered all questions asked of her.  In addition, we worked with her therapist who wrote a report about the effects of the abuse she suffered.  Now, she will be allowed to get work permit, drivers license in Florida, and bring her children as refugees.

     If you, or someone you know, was a victim of domestic violence in their home country, please have them call Blandon Law at 954-385-0157.  There are deadlines for asylum cases, so please have them call as soon as they can.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Refugee Children to Sing National Anthem on Super Bowl Sunday

     Refugees are persons who are resettled in the United States because they may be harmed in their home countries. Albert Einstein, for example, was a refugee.  The spouses or children of asylees can also be brought to this country as refugees if they are petitioned.
      On Super Bowl Sunday, hundreds of refugees will sing the National Anthem to publicize their love of this country.  More information is available at the Run For Refugees link.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gang Violence in Mexico as a Reason for Asylum

       Recently, Yale University published an article explaining that Mexicans running away because of gang violence should be granted asylum.  The article can be found here.
      Immigration Judges do not like to grant these cases, but the south Florida firm of Blandon Law has won asylum for persons from Central America and Mexico this way.  Sometimes, the gangs are violent because our clients preached religion.  Sometimes, the gangs are violent because our clients are women who do not want to be girlfriends of the gang members.
      To find out your chance of winning asylum, please call (954) 385-0157 and schedule a consultation.  There is a deadline and filing late means your case will be denied.  If you win asylum, you get a work permit, drivers license, travel permit, and eventually a green card.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Notes of Asylum Interview Can Be Obtained

     In Immigration Court, the attorneys representing the Dept. of Homeland Security ask questions to determine whether a foreign national deserves asylum.  These attorneys are overworked and do not have the time to review applications and all of the supporting documents.  As a result, they rely heavily on the notes taken by the Asylum Officer, who is the person who interviewed the applicant on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).
Blank Notepad 3     Therefore, the notes of the Asylum Officer are an important part of preparing for the Immigration Court hearing.
     A settlement agreement was reached in a lawsuit challenging CIS's policy of withholding Asylum Officer interview notes from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) responses. Under the agreement, CIS must instruct employees involved in processing FOIA requests that asylum officer interview notes generally are to be produced.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mental Illness -- Will the Rich be Eligible for Asylum?

     Immigration has usually denied asylum to persons who are harmed due to their wealth.  The reasoning is that if they are harmed because they are rich, tomorrow they may be poor.  Unlike being a victim of domestic violence, being rich is not a fundamental trait to any group.
File:Prescription drugs.jpg     Recently, the Board of Immigration Appeals gave asylum to a man although part of his claim was based on his financial situation.  I wrote an article about this significant change in asylum law.  Please read this and other asylum-related articles in AVVO that I have posted over the years.
     For a consultation about how this may affect your case, call the Florida office of Blandon Law at (954) 385-0157.  We are located in Broward county.

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