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Venezuela Now Leads in U.S. Asylum Application Filings

statue_of_liberty-237x300Venezuela is now the top U.S. Asylum Seeking nation since the crash of the Venezuela economy and the government’s widespread persecution and harassment of opponents of Nicolas Maduro.  Venezuela is in crisis, with its people enduring hyperinflation, scarcity of food and medicine, high crime and political corruption.  Thousands of its citizens are fleeing to neighboring countries such as Colombia, Brazil, and also Spain and the United States.  Since March 2017, 30 protestors of Maduro administration have been killed.  Thousands of people have been arrested for political reasons since 2016.  Over 14,700 Venezuelans sought asylum in the U.S. in FY2016.  And halfway through FY2017, Venezuelan asylum applications are on pace to double again.

It should be noted that fleeing ones country due to hunger, the economy, or joblessness does not qualify you for asylum in the U.S.  To qualify for asylum in the United States, you must meet the definition of a refugee, which means you are unable or unwilling to return to your own country because of persecution or  well founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.   An asylum seeker will need to provide credible testimony, and genuine documentation to prove past persecution or well founded fear of persecution.  Know that the the consequences for filing a frivolous claim of asylum, or counterfeit or false documentation to support an asylum application are grave.  If USCIS or an immigration finds that a  person knowingly filed a frivolous or fabricated asylum claim,  that person will be forever barred from gaining a lawful immigration benefit or status in the United States.

We recommend you see a qualified immigration attorney for a consultation before you proceed with an asylum application, to help you evaluate whether your claim has merit.  Then you can decide whether you wand to proceed on your own, or retain an attorney to help you through the process.