Nationwide Class Certification for Asylum
- By Kathleen Hoyos
- January 26, 2017
- Refugees & Asylum
Many asylum applications are denied because the applicant is unaware they must file within one year of entry into the U.S. Asylum seekers, who are detained at the border and then placed in removal proceedings, generally do not receive notice of this deadline until the first hearing. Due to significant backlogs at the immigration court, however, few are scheduled to appear in court within one year of their entry.
On January 10th, 2017 the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington took the first step towards removing this significant roadblock for thousands of asylum applicants. The court granted class certification to those in removal proceedings who were detained but not notified of the one year filing requirement upon release from detention.
To ensure a full and fair hearing of asylum claims, the District Court found the following individuals may qualify as class action members under this certification:
- Individuals, whether in removal proceedings yet, who have not yet filed for asylum or applied outside the one year filing deadline, and:
- were released from DHS custody after having been found to have a credible fear, but did not receive notice of the one-year filing deadline; or
- were detained upon entry, expressed fear of returning, and were released from DHS custody with a Notice to Appear but without a credible fear determination and without notice of the one year filing deadline.
This class action lawsuit is great news for asylum seekers who were denied an opportunity for a full and fair presentation of their application as a result of the backlog in our immigration courts. If you believe you may qualify as a class member in this lawsuit, you should immediately consult a qualified immigration attorney.
Qualified Immigration Attorneys
The attorneys at Antonini & Cohen have many years of experience handling asylum claims before the Asylum office and the Immigration Court. We are happy to provide more information or assistance in determining if you might qualify for membership in this class. Call us today!