Three attorneys in California has been indicted of filing false Asylum cases. Judge Damrell said that while there were flaws in the asylum system that “doesn’t give license to lawyers to take advantage of it.” The lawyers apparently filed fraudulent applications.
Yes, the Asylum system is riddled with flaws. Full disclosure first: I do NOT practice Asylum, and my knowledge is limited. However I do practice immigration law.
Asylum is granted to individuals who, if they were to return to their home country would be persecuted. While it is true that many people all over the world are persecuted, I believe only very few can come to the US. All countries are basically economic entities. So even though different races fight, basically it is the poor who gets persecuted. Whether its between different political parties, between Hutus or Tutsis, between Shias and Sunnis, between blacks and whites, between different drug factions, it is seldom that the rich suffer. They have resources to hide or bribe the opposing party. It is usually the poor who gets persecuted and they usually do not have the resources to come to America.
I had once taken a pro bono asylum case from the Catholic Charities. This person was from Africa. When I first heard his story, he sounded very authentic. His story moved my heart. He also convinced a doctor to write about psychological implications for him. I wrote a fantastic brief.
The story was that both him and his girl friend were persecuted. Horrible acts of atrocities. As time went on, the guy asked me that he had changed girl friends, and can we substitute the new name. Gradually I became convinced that he was scamming us. He knew the story of someone, and just substituted himself. He had the Catholic Charities, the doctor and me fooled. I withdrew and so did Catholic Charities. I have no idea if this person is still in the US, probably he paid some lawyer to represent him.
That was my one and only asylum case. I am not saying all asylum cases are bogus, but my guess is that a substantial majority are. However the State Bar of Texas wants you to take certain of these cases BEFORE you can even sit the exam for Board Certification.