The Colorado Hosting Asylum Network recognizes that there are a lot of questions about the topic of asylum and we are happy to help keep you informed. Below are some of the commonly asked questions we've heard. Please click on any answer to see our expanded discussion. If you don't see a question you'd like to ask, please don't hesitate to ask us by sending us a message on our Contact Us page!
1. What's going on at the US-Mexico Border?
2. What do Asylum Seekers get From the Government?
3. Do migrants bring crime across the Border?
4. Are migrants smuggling or trafficking people across the border?
5. Are Migrants really gang members and do they bring drugs with them?
6. How do Asylum Seekers get to Denver?
- Step 1. Defensive Asylum
- Step 2. Expedited Removal and Short term Detention
- Step 3. Enrollment in the Migrant Protection Protocols Program
- Step 4. Passing the Credible Fear Screening
- Step 5. Master Scheduling
- Step 6. Hiring a Lawer and waiting period
- Step 7. Presenting to an Immigration Judge
8 months into FY2022
To learn more about the asylum process at the border in detail, visit The Law of Asylum Procedure at the Border: Statutes and Agency Implementation: https://sgp.fas.org/crs/homesec/R46755.pdf
Before COVID, most people who crossed the border were processed under Title 8 (Immigration Law), which means they were arrested, charged with something, and appeared in court before a judge who decided what would happen next. During COVID, Title 42 (a public health policy), allowed Border Patrol to send everyone back to Mexico, even if they pleaded asylum. However, if Border Patrol wanted to process them as criminals or as asylum-seekers, they were placed into Title 8 proceedings. In FY2021, 619,000 people were processed under Title 8 for a variety of reasons.
Those enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols program, aka MPP, aka “Remain in Mexico”, are given a date to appear in Immigration court and returned to Mexico to wait for their hearing. There are usually multiple hearings, and each time, the person must present themselves at a specified Port of Entry for re-entry to attend their proceedings, then they are returned to Mexico to continue to wait.
TOPIC: How do Asylum Seekers get to Denver?
Step 3: Enrollment in the Migrant Protection Protocols program
The purpose of the Credible Fear Screening is to decide if there is a “significant possibility” that the person would qualify for asylum under the standard. The interview includes 45 questions and may take more than an hour. The Officer is supposed to be forgiving, as it is not their job to actually decide if the person does in fact qualify.
This is an asylum seeker’s first appearance in Immigration Court. They will be asked if they have filed an asylum application and if not, given one. The judge will decide if they should be held in detention or released. The judge will ask if they have a lawyer, or if not, if they intend to get one. If they need pro bono legal services, information about finding it will be given to them. The rest of their court dates will be scheduled.
Asylum seekers do not qualify for court-appointed legal services, and must hire their own lawyers.
Historically, yes. Currently, no. In recent years, legal representation doubled a person’s chances of being granted asylum. However, approval rates are currently very low, and they almost match representation rates. 16% of asylum requests were granted overall. 18% of asylum requests were granted if the person had a lawyer.
Immigration Court is considered an “adversarial” setting. That means that the asylum seeker is the defendant. A lawyer from ICE is the prosecutor. There is no jury – the judge will decide.
If the judge grants asylum, the person becomes an “asylee”, with the same standing as a “refugee”. He or she can apply for Legal Permanent Residence within a month.
If the judge rejects the claim, the person will be taken into custody by ICE and deported.
The asylum seeker may appeal the judge’s decision one time to the Bureau of Immigration Appeals.