Date: Wednesday, 02 August 2017
REFUGEE ALERT: “ASYLUM SHOPPING” DOESN’T PAY
A number of Eritrean asylum seekers have recently lost their cases in the United States after lying in their entrance interviews about prior experience in Europe and hiding that information from their attorneys only to have the truth come out in their hearings.
The false statements involved the failure to mention travel to Europe where they were given asylum first. U.S. and European immigration agencies cross-check records, so the false statements were discovered and asylum was denied.
The winners were the smugglers who pocketed thousands of dollars with false assurances. The losers were the refugees who now face either detention or deportation.
Future refugees with legitimate claims will also be losers: They will have a more difficult time because law firms that take such cases, often on a pro bono (free) basis, will not want to take chances on Eritreans again, and because otherwise sympathetic immigration judges will from now on be skeptical of Eritrean claims.
MY ADVICE: Once you get residence somewhere, stay there and make the best of it. The current political environment makes “asylum shopping” unlikely to succeed. And trying and failing only makes things worse for others.