If you seek asylum at the US/Mexican Border: What you should know


1.  You will most likely be stopped by border agents/immigration officers.

2.  Remain calm even if they try to intimidate you and threaten to deport you.

3.  The first thing you should say to an American officer – even in your own language – is that you are afraid to go back to your country because of persecution and that you want to apply for asylum.

4. If you are put in detention, even after having said that, don’t worry because it is your right to apply for asylum, even in detention.

5.  Stay very firm because it is possible that some of the immigration officers/border agents and law enforcement persons, will tell you that it is not possible to request asylum under the Trump government. DO NOT BELIEVE THAT and do not sign a paper that you agree to leave the US by your own agreement (voluntary agreement). Say that you need to see a lawyer first.

6.  When you are in detention, you should be told that you will be given a "credible fear interview." This is an interview with an immigration officer to explain in more details why you want to apply for asylum.

7.  You will need to explain that either you have been persecuted and had to leave your country or that if you return to your country, there is a very strong possibility that you will be arrested, tortured or persecuted.

8.  If for some reason you are put into what is called "expedited removal," which means deportation, you can still ask for asylum and you should have the right to get a "credible fear interview." It is very scary to do so, especially if you don’t speak good English, but try to be as firm as possible.

9.  If you pass the “credible fear interview” then you will be taken out of the expedited removal list and you will be given a date to go to immigration court, where you will have to demonstrate to the judge the reasons why you are seeking asylum. The judge will then decide whether you can be granted asylum, and if not, you have the right to appeal to a higher court.