Thursday, July 19, 2018

‘Credible fear’ for US asylum harder to prove under President Trump

AP Photo/Eric Gay, File
Patricia Aragon told the U.S. asylum officer at her recent case assessment that she was fleeing her native Honduras because she had been robbed and raped by a gang member who threatened to kill her and her 9-year-old daughter if she went to the police.
Until recently, the 41-year-old seamstress from San Pedro Sula would have had a good chance of clearing that first hurdle in the asylum process due to a "credible fear" for her safety, but she didn't. The officer said the Honduran government wasn't to blame for what happened to Aragon and recommended that she not get asylum, meaning she'll likely be sent home.
"The U.S. has always been characterized as a humanitarian country," Aragon said through tears at Port Isabel, a remote immigration detention center tucked among livestock and grapefruit groves near Los Fresnos, a town about 15 miles (25kilometers) from the Mexico border. "My experience has been very difficult."
As part of the Trump administration's broader crackdown on immigration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently tightened the restrictions on the types of cases that can qualify someone for asylum, making it harder for Central Americans who say they're fleeing the threat of gangs, drug smugglers or domestic violence to pass even the first hurdle for securing U.S. protection.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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