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How to find a guarantor for asylum in the USA, and will he help you avoid immigration jail

For many immigrants who are unable to obtain a US visa, seeking asylum at the border is often the only hope for a happy and safe life. However, in practice, instead of entering the "immigration paradise", applicants have to spend long weeks, or even months in immigration prisons without violating a single American law. As a safety net against such an option, refugees are trying to find a "sponsor" - a person who would take care of them at the beginning of forced immigration, and most importantly - would ensure the appearance of the immigrant in court, which will have to make a decision about asylum.

Photo: Shutterstock

Fatal call

However, asylum seekers assure that even the presence of such a sponsor-guarantor does not guarantee that you will be released to await trial at large. Sometimes the fate of a refugee can literally depend on one phone call - as it happened, for example, in history Mikhail Nikitin, about which previously told forum daily.

“The lawyer said that I needed to find a sponsor, otherwise they would detain me at the border. However, I had to urgently leave Russia, and there was simply no time left to search. While in Mexico, I found a group of immigrant refugees on social networks, and through them I made an agreement with a sponsor who was ready to vouch for my wife and me, ”he explains.

According to Mikhail, Christian churches or Jewish organizations are often ideal guarantors, especially for families. According to him, families with children or pregnant women, especially with a sponsor, have an almost XNUMX% chance to be released immediately when crossing the border: customs officers are afraid to take on such responsibility. But it is more difficult for single petitioners. Mikhail notes: often, if the officers initially do not have a goal to release you, they will confine themselves to a formal call, after which they can immediately start the “accelerated deportation” procedure.

On the subject: How refugees from Crimea started life from scratch in America

“This is what happened in my case. American customs officers did not get through to my sponsor because they called at 10 pm. After that, I was sent to prison, and I was released almost two years later, ”says Mikhail.

Two types of surety

Immigration lawyer Dmitry Filimonov explains: there is no legal act defining the requirements for a sponsor, and the institution of surety itself has developed exclusively in practice.

“Formally, all people who come to the American border without a visa are subject to detention. However, in reality, the immigration police can release people, allowing them to await trial at large. The main thing that worries immigration officers in this case is the risk that asylum seekers may “dissolve” in the country and simply not appear in court. That is why they ask for the coordinates of people who can guarantee that the immigrant will come to court, and will also take care of him at first, ”the lawyer said.

According to the lawyer, at this stage minimal information about himself is required from the sponsor, and more often than not, one phone call is really enough, confirming his readiness to vouch for the refugee. However, if the customs officer cannot reach the sponsor or for other reasons decides not to release the immigrant, he has the right to initiate the expedited deportation procedure. In this case, refugees are sent to temporary detention centers, from which it is possible to leave only after passing an interview to check the validity of the fear of persecution at home. It can take several weeks to wait for such interviews.

“After successfully passing the interview, the immigrant can apply for release, including referring to the guarantor. In this case, more stringent requirements are imposed on the sponsor: he must confirm his status, address in the United States, submit copies of tax returns confirming income, and so on. This list, in contrast to the first type of sponsors, is determined at least at the level of departmental instructions, ”comments Dmitry Filimonov.

According to him, now immigration officers release refugees much more often than under the previous administration, and most of the detainees are released after being interviewed, that is, about a couple of months after being detained.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

“It is interesting that illegal immigrants who illegally cross the border have the right to appeal their imprisonment in an immigration court, while those who legally applied for asylum at an official border crossing point cannot go to court, and they can only hope for“ good the will "of the immigration officer, who can agree and reconsider the original decision to imprison an immigrant," the lawyer emphasizes.

Dmitry Filimonov warns: do not rely on the fact that you will be quickly released at the border. Those wishing to apply for asylum should understand that they can be detained there.

“It is very difficult to prepare for an interview on the validity of fear of persecution while in prison, and you definitely need to go through this interview - otherwise you will be deported to your homeland. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for it even before crossing the border. You have to be accurate in your case, ”advises the lawyer.

"The surety does not work"

Political refugee Alexander Klimanov I am sure that whether the refugee will be released on bail depends solely on the practice of a particular immigration court. According to him, in New Jersey, where he sat by myself pending trial in 2016, this type of exemption has not been practiced.

“I have seen more than once immigrants who illegally cross the border were released on bail, while asylum seekers were kept in custody,” he notes.

According to Alexander, in this practice, most likely, there is a certain economic calculation: illegal immigrants, as a rule, do not come to court, as a result of which they lose bail. Then, dissolving in the country, they agree to work for a meager salary, which also turns out to be beneficial to many.

“I personally saw an American sister and her husband visit my cellmate in prison. Of course, she was ready to vouch for him, and he himself petitioned for release. However, nothing helped, ”complains Alexander Klimanov.

In one thing, the refugees agree: both the search for guarantors and the preparation of the case should be done in advance, so as not to find themselves in conditions when it will be much more difficult to do this.

Read also on ForumDaily:

When the homeland became more dangerous than the foreign land: three stories of people who fled from Russia from the persecution of the authorities

Tasty and healthy: how to save money on food and learn English

Obtaining US citizenship: answers to the main questions

How Russian-speaking immigrants are deceived in the USA: 4 main schemes

Refugees loudspeakers guarantor
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