Problems Facing Immigrants Seeking Asylum in Atlanta

Over the last several years, refugees and asylum-seekers have become an increasingly hot topic in American politics. But for those fleeing dangerous situations in their home countries, the problem is much more personal. Since 2014, there has been a surge in Central American asylum-seekers relocating across the U.S. Many of those asylum-seekers relocate to Atlanta because of its job opportunities and Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. But while Atlanta has always fallen below the national rate for granting asylum petitions, it has recently dropped from 23% down to just 2%. By comparison, the national asylum grant rate in the United States is 48%.

Problems Facing Asylum-Seekers in America

girl seeking asylumCourts across the country have been flooded with Central Americans seeking asylum in the last two years. New detention facilities and increased deportation sweeps have become the norm, an effort by the Obama administration to slow the flood of immigrants. Central Americans have only a 1 in 5 chance of receiving asylum in U.S. immigration courts, and Mexicans face an even steeper chance. Those who fit the traditional asylum-seeker profile—asylum-seekers fleeing their homes for reasons of religious persecution, political dissent, or forced abortions, among others—are much more likely to be granted asylum than those fleeing war-torn countries or homes ruled by gang violence. There are currently only six judges sitting in the Atlanta immigration court, putting added pressure to hear—and deny—more asylum cases. Many asylum-seekers also have trouble finding Atlanta immigration lawyers, who make up only a small percentage of practicing attorneys in the city. And some of those asylum attorneys, such as Elizabeth Matherne, have grown disillusioned with a system that rejects so many immigrants in need. Although having an immigration lawyer significantly improves migrants’ chances of success, fewer than half of the immigrants in Atlanta courts have legal representation. Many of these cases involve unaccompanied minors facing immigration court alone.

At Brownstein and Nguyen, we have over 20 years of experience helping immigrants find new homes in Atlanta and across the U.S. Don’t struggle through the legal system alone. Bring your asylum case to our Atlanta law offices for a review and legal assistance.