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What Arizona residents should know about asylum claims

The 2018 fiscal year for the United States government ended on Sept. 30. As of that date, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says credible fear asylum claims at the Mexico border increased 67 percent from the previous year. That translates to a total of 92,959 claims as opposed to just 55,584 a year prior. Furthermore, the number of credible fear claims as a percentage of all people stopped at the border increased to 18 percent from 13 percent a year earlier.

During the 2018 fiscal year, 21 percent of asylum claims were granted by a judge. In most instances, those who pass the credible fear threshold are given ankle monitors and released until their cases are heard. It is believed that about 75 percent of those who ask for asylum make it past the initial part of the process. The increase in individuals claiming asylum at the United States border with Mexico is partially because of a caravan of individuals coming from Central America.

Many of the 6,000 people in that caravan started their journey in Honduras. The recent influx of migrants has led to claims that federal resources are being stretched thin. Many have been instructed to wait in Mexico until their cases can be heard. However, courts have ruled that even those who enter illegally could be entitled to protection.

An immigrant who has a legitimate fear of persecution may be entitled to asylum in the U.S. The same may be true for those who are worried about retaliation for a political opinion or meet other criteria to remain in the country. An attorney could review a case and help a person obtain asylum or otherwise get a favorable outcome in their immigration matter.

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