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Blandon Law Immigration

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Article is Cover Story of Magazine for Immigration Attorneys

     My article on "Asylum for Atheists" is the cover story for this month's issue of VOICE.  That is the national magazine for immigration attorneys throughout the United States.  You can read the full article by clicking to the Blandon Law Facebook page here.
     Persons labeled as atheists have been targeted since Roman times.  I believe immigration attorneys should use every tool at their disposal -- including asylum law and the Convention Against to Torture -- to protect persons who have different beliefs.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Must Prove Past Harm Occurred or Future Harm Likely to Occur

      To obtain asylum, foreign nationals must demonstrate that they suffered past harm or are more likely than not to suffer harm in the future if returned to their countries.  This balancing of interests occurs often in the law, which is why the symbol is a woman holding a balance.  Which side weighs more, likely to be harmed or not likely to be harmed?
      Blandon Law organizes evidence including country condition reports to tip the scales in favor of our clients.
Image Ref: 31-24-7 - Statue of Lady Justice, The Old Bailey, London, England, Viewed 66199 times  In a recent case -- Sirbu v. Holder -- the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reminded an immigration judge of the correct standard of proof.  As demonstrated by that opinion, even experienced judges sometimes get confused.  Foreign nationals do NOT need to provide evidence that "compels a finding" that they suffered past harm.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Get a Paper Copy of Your I-94

Image Ref: 04-09-17 - Passport, Viewed 9084 times       On April 30, 2013, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stopped providing paper Form I-94s, the white or green form which shows the date and length of authorized stay.  Now, many foreign nationals will only get a stamp in their passport.
      Blandon Law STRONGLY recommends that all foreign nationals go to the website and print out an electronic record of their admission.  This way, foreigners will be able to prove they applied for asylum within one year after arrival.  In addition, having a paper printout may make it easier to get other benefits including a driver's license and a Social Security number.  Both of those government agencies -- Division of Motor Vehicles and Social Security Administration -- are still requiring PAPER proof of admission despite the change in CBP's policy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dual Citizens CANNOT Obtain Asylum

Picture of Flags - Free Pictures -     The Board of Immigration Appeals recently issued a case recently stating that persons who MAY have dual citizenship are not eligible for asylum. In that case, the foreigner was a Venezuelan and his father was a citizen of Spain.  The applicant was not a citizen of Spain.  Because the government showed proof that the asylum applicant is eligible to become a citizen of Spain himself (and he had no fear of harm there), however, his asylum was denied.
     This is a drastic change from the way the law was formerly interpreted.  Blandon Law has won asylum cases for dual citizens (Venezuelan and Italian) in the past, but that seems more difficult now.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Despite Improvement in Country Condition, Asylum is Possible

     Another unpublished decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals confirmed that asylum can be won even if the conditions in the homeland improve.  Blandon Law can read these decisions because our attorneys are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  When other attorneys win asylum cases, we know about it.  That improves the chance of winning for our clients.
Immigration Reform     In this case, the foreign national was from Liberia.  His entire family was murdered when he was 13 years old.  Although the political situation in Liberia has changed, and the applicant no longer fears returning to his country, asylum was granted because of the SEVERITY of the past harm he suffered.

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