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Confusion surrounds changes to asylum practices

For those in Indiana dealing with the U.S. immigration system, reports about the Trump administration’s stance on border security may be deeply concerning. Individuals may be worried about their family members as well as their own ability to enter or remain in the country. One issue that has troubled many is the announcement that the U.S. government plans to process applications for asylum from inside Mexico. According to reports, both Mexican and U.S. officials are unsure about how the plan will operate and what effects it will have on asylum seekers.

The asylum process allows immigrants to seek safety from persecution and credible threats of violence. Trump administration officials have announced a number of initiatives designed to decrease the number of asylum applications; although, some of these policies have been blocked from implementation by federal courts. Someone who is seeking asylum will face a hearing that determines whether they have a credible fear of being returned to their country of origin. In many cases, an asylum seeker will then move forward to a hearing before an immigration judge.

There is already a significant backlog in the immigration system; over 800,000 cases are waiting to be heard. As a result, this policy could lead to thousands of people from Central America being expected to remain in Mexico for lengthy periods of time, even years. Currently, asylum seekers who apply at ports of entry are usually released into the U.S. and assigned to courts near their location.

For someone who is seeking asylum or even adjusting their status, the current events in immigration law can be deeply concerning. An immigration attorney may advise a client about their rights and work to defend them against deportation attempts.