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Greg Sarafan, Esq @GSarafan
, 35 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
As a fmr immigration attorney let me be unambiguously clear. Crossing a boarder to claim asylum is *not* a crime; no under US or international law. Any child separated from a parent under that pretext is done so in direct contravention to the laws of the USA. ⚖ THREAD Pls RT.
If you came to the US without permission to apply for asylum, youmetjod of entry, whether legal or illegal *should* in no way effect your application process. Illegal entry is not a ground of inadmissibility for asylum applicants.
Unlike many other categories of applicants for immigration benefits, ppl seeking asylum in the US are not barred by having made an illegal entry; for example, sneaked across the U.S. border or overstaying a valid visa (one of the top ways people are in the country illegall).
In the later case however, the longer you wait to claim asylum the harder it becomes to prove you have a "credible fear" of violence if you were returned to your country. i.e. it doesn't look great if you only apply for asylum afr overstaying ur visa & are caught by authorities.
Many asylum applicants find that entering the US without permission is their only or best way to get to safety and flee the persecution and violence they faced at home. Especially now there are reports of asylum seekers being turned away at the border.…
The language of the Immigration & Nationality Act says “any alien” can apply for asylum if he or she is “physically present in the US . . . irrespective of such alien’s status.” (INA Section 208(a)) However, be4 applicants submit their applications they are at risk of removal.
This is why the Trump admin is working so hard to prevent migrants from even having the opportunity to apply, either by preventing them from applying through legal means at the border, you know that whole "wait in line like everyone else business" or detaining them indefinitely.
The biggest risk to legitimate asylum seekers, other than waiting too long to apply after entering the US is lying to ICE or natralization authorities once they enter the legal process.
If migrants used false dos (such as a fake green card, visa or passport) or made false statements to a US govt official in order to gain entry or legal status they must tell the truth. If they are caught lying at that point in the process threatens to derail their application.
The problem with that is almost all asylum seekers entering the US illegally have spent days or weeks crossing a desert bc thst have no other options. These ppl generally dont know everything I have just recounted. Furthermore, when they enter the US and are immediately detained
They are not give access to legal counsel and under the Trump admin interpretation (also Obama's) they dont have the right to legal counsel. So many of them end ip.making false statements when they are finally processed by ICE, hurting their potentially legitimate asylum claims.
While lying to US officials under these circumstances is not fatial to an asylum application if your reason was connected to your flight from persecution. (See, for example, a court case called Mamouzian v. Ashcroft, 390 F.3d 1129, 1138 (9th Cir. 2004)),
that point can become insurmountably harder to prove the longer someone is in the US. Moreover, since the immigration courts are so overtaxed and over extended a case that amounts to only a few total hours before a judge over a few separate appearances can take several years
legitimate asylum seekers face harsh questioning & issues involving changing stories/circumstances as their cases play out over several yrs & are forced to recount stories of their worst abuses in a public court to officials, who in their counties may be from whom theyre running.
The US system is infinitely more complex than I can describe in a single thread, with countless caveats and exceptions to every rule. It is overtaxed and over burdened by overboard policy directives that only sow more chaos.
But the fact remains turning away legitimate asylum seekers at the border, detention after entry with economic migrants, and separation from minor their children is illegal under international law, antithetical to the spirit of applicable US laws, and contrary to American values.
P.S. I am specifically talking about the plight of asylum seekers, not people who entered the country illegally as economic migrants.
P.P.S. Sorry about all of the grammatical and typographical errors. When writing long threads on my phone I sometimes, somewhat lazily, dont go back and spell check, to my own detriment.
SideNote: Anyone who gives this even a cursory glance can recognize these children are being separated and detained as political hostages. There are few members of Congress, on either side, who agree with this policy. This is just Trump's latest effort to negotiate wall funding.
Child separation is *policy* based on an interpretation of law by DOJ, not a law from Congress. Interperative policies are the purview of the Executive Branch & are at the full discretion of POTUS absent a superceeding Congressional statute or court order.
People have been asking me then why sneak across the border of people have a legal right to seek #asylum, why not just go to legal points of entry to make the claim? The answer to that is complex and particular to every individual. However, in general terms: Economic
migrants dont have a legally valid reason to be in the US. Those are the people sneaking across to get jobs, in crude terms "illegal immigrants." But legitimate #AsylumSeekers, the group that this thread addresses, are trying to trying to escape *imminent* threats to their life.
Individuals with valid asylum cases in many instances are literally being hunted across their own country or region by gangs, abusers, family, or in some cases the police. What in large part makes their claim a valid asylum claim, and not a pretext for economic migration, is
that they have sought help from the police or govt and they have either refused to help or in many cases the authorities are actively conspiring with or are bribed/societally pressured by the person or group threatening or perpetrating violence and in the worst cases it is
the govt itself, whether officially or unofficially doing the persecuting. When a multibillion dollar cartel or the local or federal authorities are the ones literally hunting you or turning a blind eye to you being hunted, going to an official point of entry to claim asylum or
or waiting weeks, months, or years for your claim to be processed before you can cross the border into relative safety isnt a viable option. For many asylum seekers crossing the border immediately is a matter of life or death.
It is always better to reach safety first and then do paperwork.


⬆️Please RT the ⚖ #Thread about #asylum.

#FamiliesBelongTogether #KeepFamiliesTogether #immigrantchildren #immigration #WorldRefugeeDay #WithRefugees #Basta #TenderAgeShelters #BabyJails
There is no "zero tolerance" policy from the Trump admin for *asylum seekers*. The de jure Trump admin policy is that 'zero tolerance' only applies to 'economic migrants'. However, the current de facto policy is to treat asylum seekers and economic migrants the same.
Some additional thoughts on family separation and the immigration crisis from a Former Immigration Attorney:

Obama deported more people than all of the previous modern presidents combine (11M), Obama also detained 7k *unaccompanied* minors on a military base. But Obama did not
prosecute everyone in the country illegally like Trump is doing, Obama instead concentrated on violent criminals in the country illegally. The immigration courts are *severely* overwhelmed, simple cases can take 3 to 7+ years to determine the status of an individual.
So instead of using the limited resources of the courts to prioritize individuals who are a danger to society, criminals are now on court dockets with non violent individuals who in some cases have children who are Americans, are married to Americans, or have valid asylum claims.
That means, that 1st group, criminals (people with multiple DUI's, violent crimes, etc) can stay in the country for longer since now the courts are not only detailing with more cases but cases that take longer and more resources to try bc they in many cases have a valid claim.
Obama got the benefit of the doubt he was doing the right thing bc his rhetoric was not dripping with animus and racism. Yes, parts of Trump's policies are horrible but most of his issues are due to his poor management style, rankerus rhetoric, & self inflicted optics debacles.
The Trump administration is denying bond to some parents who have been separated from their children and are eligible to apply for asylum. This is an unusual move for ICE/DHS and represents a new policy designed to make things harder for separated asylees…
After court order to reunite +2000 migrant children who were separated from parents, Trump admin has instructed ICE to give parents 2 options: leave the country with your kids— or leave the country without them. That is NOT how asylum works! See thread 👆…
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