Here is our latest edition of our Monthly Newsletter “Know your Rights”. You can find all prior editions by visiting our blog here. In this edition we will discuss the results of the new asylum application policy on people seeking protection.

New Asylum Application Procedure

On December 2017, immigration announced a new method for processing new asylum applications: basically, new applications will be processed first and those with pending applications would be moved down the line.

This has resulted in asylum interviews scheduled 30 to 40 days from the receipt of the applications. Many clients were surprised by the new procedure since they are not ready to be interviewed: some because they don’t have the necessary evidence and others because they are simply not mentally ready to go through the interview. What has been the result? Unrepresented clients do not receive the approval and their cases are referred to an immigration judge.

Once referred to an immigration judge, a deportation process is started and this is usually the client’s last chance. It is a lot harder to win an asylum case in front of an immigration judge compared to a local asylum officer. Additionally, the stakes are higher: in the event the case is denied a Judge will order the person deported on the spot.

Consult with an immigration attorney before filing an asylum application so that we can evaluate when is the best time to file. It is important to have all of the evidence on hand in order to get an approval before an officer rather than a judge.

Immigration Judge Required to Meet Case Quotas:

This week, the Department of Justice, who is responsible for appointed immigration judges, announced that it will now require judges to meet annual case quotas, meaning closing a number of cases per year, or face consequences. The consequences include being transferred to another jurisdiction or possible termination. This new measure will increase the fast deportations that the government prefers and will only limit people from properly defending themselves against a deportation.

Despite the fact that the deportation process is very similar to our criminal justice system, a deportation process doesn’t offer the sames protections that the criminal justice system provides. Although people are arrested, jailed and sometimes placed under electronic supervision (just like the criminal justice system), immigrants have no constitutional right to an attorney or right to a bond. With the new quota requirement for judges, immigrants are going to have even less time to defend against a deportation.

Federal Judge Demands Immigration Accept Late Asylum Applications:

A Federal Judge in Washington ordered immigration to accept late asylum applications if they meet the following conditions:

  • The person was under the custody of immigration.
  • The person expressed fear to return to his/her home country.
  • The person was released from custody.
  • Immigration failed to advice them of the one (1) year deadline to apply for asylum.

If you meet these requirements, you are eligible to apply for asylum even if it is passed the one (1) year deadline.


  • On March 22 and 23, 2018, we attended the American Immigration Lawyers Association, South Florida Chapter, Annual Conference
  • On March 2, 2018 we attended the 17th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono CLE in Broward County, FL.
  • On February 28, as a member of the AILA South Florida Asylum Committee, we participated in the Miami Asylum Office Stakeholder Meeting at the Miami Asylum Office.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. If you have any comments or want us to cover a certain topic please let us know.


Christian Veras, Esq.

DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this article is for educational  use only. The information contained in it does not constitute legal advice and an attorney-client relationship is not created by reading this post.

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