When someone seeks asylum protection in the United States under current immigration law, they must meet the criteria and requirements for approval. During an interview with immigration authorities in California or other states, the asylum seeker will face questions about credible fear and must address essential elements with the asylum officer.
Credible fear elements
An asylum applicant must provide substantial evidence that they would face persecution, such as imprisonment or torture, if returned to their home country. Specifically, the asylum seekers must show that they could face the significant possibility of mistreatment or harm in their home country. Ultimately, the asylum seeker must convince the asylum officer that their case is legitimate and based on a sincere fear of the dangers of being removed and deported.
If the asylum officer feels that the asylum seeker has a credible case, a preliminary approval could result, and the process would move to a hearing before an immigration judge. During the hearing, the judge would determine whether the asylum seeker is statutorily ineligible. Persons convicted of serious crimes or are a danger to the United States would be among those not eligible for approval.
Other asylum issues
There are other rules in place that the asylum seeker might not realize. For example, a judge could delay the removal of someone who is not eligible if they face a credible chance of suffering torture in their home country.
A person denied asylum could explore further legal avenues. The asylum seeker could appeal the court’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. If denied at the BIA, further appeals are possible, occurring in federal court. Specifically, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge would hear the case.