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Improper handling of asylum seekers by border officers alleged

There are all manner of rules that apply when it comes to asylum requests here in the United States. This includes rules on asylum seekers, such as what generally has to be shown to be eligible for asylum.

However, it also includes rules on immigration officials. For example, there are rules on how such officials are supposed to respond to and handle requests for asylum. Recently, allegations have been leveled that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have on some occasions been violating such rules when it comes to the handling of asylum seekers at the border.

The allegations are contained in a complaint that some immigrant advocacy groups recently submitted to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The complaint alleges that, in some instances, border officers have turned away asylum seekers without allowing their claim to be considered. According to the advocacy groups, this violates both international and U.S. law. The groups are asking for an investigation of the matter.

Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection has said that the U.S. has long been committed to keeping its asylum policies in line with international law and conventions, that the agency has made no policy changes on this front and that the agency is not tolerant of any abuses.

One wonders what, when all is said and done, will happen in regards to the complaint.

Now, rules on how border officials are to initially handle those seeking asylum are far from the only rules regarding how officials are supposed to act during the course of asylum matters. The asylum process can be a long one with many different steps. Each step has its own particular rules connected to it. So, it can be important for an asylum seeker to understand what particular rights and protections they have during the different parts of the process of pursuing asylum. Skilled immigration lawyers can provide asylum seekers with information and guidance on these important topics.

Source: The Orange County Register, “Advocacy groups say asylum-seekers are being illegally turned away at border,” Elliot Spagat, Jan. 19, 2017

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber