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LGBTQ Asylum Applications Suffer Under Immigration Policy

LGBTQ Asylum Applications Suffer Under Immigration Policy

The fluctuating nature of immigration law and policy makes it difficult for individuals from foreign countries to enter the United States. It is one of the most politically tumultuous areas of the law, as it is subject to the agendas of whoever occupies the executive branch of the federal government.

Among the various controversial issues in immigration law is the handling of asylum applications.

In general, a person seeking asylum in the United States must prove the following elements:

  • A well-founded fear of persecution
  • Past persecution or risk of future persecution in the applicant’s country of origin
  • Membership of a persecuted class of persons
  • Unwilling or inability of the government to control the persecution

Federal law recognizes five general categories regarding what constitutes persecution for federal immigration purposes.

The five categories of persecution include:

  • Serious physical harm
  • Coercive medical or psychological treatment
  • Discriminatory prosecution or disproportionate punishment for crimes
  • Severe discrimination or economic persecution
  • Severe criminal extortion or robbery

Persecution of LGBTQ Members

In many parts of the world, people who identify as LGBTQ are subjected to cruel treatment that unquestionably qualifies as persecution as defined by immigration laws and regulations. LGBTQ members seeking asylum were some of the most at-risk applicants for being killed or attacked in their countries of origin, with approximately 88% of applicants having suffered gender-based violence.

Processing of LGBTQ Asylum Applications

Recently, there have been reports that LGBTQ asylum applicants have been forced to wait for court hearings under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program. Many of the applicants are non-Mexican migrants who are particularly susceptible to violent and often-life threatening attacks in Mexico.

Although some applicants have been placed in detention within the U.S. pending their hearing, a significant number of asylum seekers have been placed on waiting lists and returned to Mexico to wait months for an asylum hearing.

As a result, many asylum seekers from outside Mexico have been crammed into shelters with poor living conditions. For example, a shelter for LGBTQ migrants in Juarez was reported to have no windowpanes, unstable walls and roofs mended by inadequate materials such as trash bags.

Some members of Congress have expressed their concern and dissatisfaction with this result in a written demand directed to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to clarify details about the Remain in Mexico policy for LGBTQ individuals and how many applicants have been turned away.

According to the written demand, “forcing [LGBTQ asylum applicants] to remain in Mexico or creating additional hardships in their asylum process only makes them more susceptible to the same violence that forced them from their home countries in the first place..”

Contact Musa-Obregon Law PC for Questions and Concerns

If you are looking for a capable and experienced attorney for legal advice about an immigration issue, you should reach out to Musa-Obregon Law PC. Our legal team is dedicated to guiding people through the turbulent issues concerning U.S. immigration law, including LGBTQ asylum cases.

To schedule a case evaluation to determine your legal rights and options, call Musa-Obregon Law PC at (888) 502-8461 or contact our office online today.


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