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Asylum requests have quadrupled in the past 2 years

Some countries are so unbearable to live and survive in that they engender mass applications for asylum in the United States. Requests for asylum have quadrupled in some areas but apparently not so drastically in California. The influx is due to increasing crime, drug trafficking, violence and killings in certain countries.

Immigration authorities have received more than 19,119 asylum requests through the end of May. The agency expects more than 28,600 by the end of the fiscal year. By comparison, during the 2009 budget year the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) received just 5,369 such requests.

The bulging increase appears to be attributed to skyrocketing applications from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, according to internal figures from federal immigration agencies. About two-thirds of the requests come from there, and are classified as 'credible fear' claims, according to a USCIS Associate Director. Most of those requests have come from South Texas where Central Americans must be settling. The spike in illegal border crossings pinpointed to Central American sources was first seen in 2012.

Under the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, immigrants already in the United States would not be required to apply for asylum within a year of arriving. Critics object to that leniency, which they say will open the door to abuse and fraud. Since 2003, the United States has granted an average of 11,890 requests. It's unknown how many total applicants were involved.

In the federal immigration courts in California and the rest of the country, the asylum applicant must prove that he is being persecuted. The persecution must be because of race, religion, political view, nationality or membership in a particular social group. He also must demonstrate that the government is either active in the persecution or is unable or unwilling to protect him or her. If you or a family member has such a claim you can privately and confidentially consult with an immigration attorney in your area to get answers to all of your questions and find out your chances for success.

Source: Yahoo! News, "Asylum requests from immigrants on the rise in US," Alicia A. Caldwell, July 16, 2013

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