What does Political Asylum Look Like?

Many lawyers will find people in their offices who are interested in seeking out political refuge in light of the fact that there is a common war boiling over in their country. The general answer is that a trepidation of  common strife without anyone else’s input is a deficient premise for petitioning political haven, unless you can connect the mistreatment to one of the five protected grounds:  race, religion, enrollment in social gathering nationality, or political affiliation.

There is a Ninth Circuit case that delineates this point well. In Mengstu v. Holder, which happened in 2009, the candidate was a national of Ethiopia of Eritrean heritage. She had been born in Ethiopia and lived and worked there without an issue until May 1988 when a big war broke out in between Ethiopia and Eritrea. During this time of war, thousands of Ethiopians of Eritrean background were persuasively ousted and transported to Eritrea. In 1999, Ms. Mengstu’s spouse was forcibly extradited by the Ethiopian police. After a year, the Ethiopian police went to her work and let her know manager that all Eritreans who were there needed to leave the nation. Ms. Mengstu left and went to Sudan and then ended up going to the United States.

The Court of Appeals took a look at the issue in an unexpected way. One is not qualified for refugee status if he or she is a war refugee. Yet, being a war exile does not help someone to get political refuge unless they fit into one of five categories, most of which result in the possibility of the person in question dying if they go back to the country they came from. Concerning Ms. Mengstu, the court found that mistreatment and possibility even her death could be connected to her nationality. The Ethiopian-Eritrean common war was ethnically based. Since the Ethiopian government singularly focused on “Eritreans” for expelling and denationalization, the court made the decision that Ms. Mengstu was in danger, and thus gave her refuge.

All of that being said, there are a lot of things that come up here. Each case has to be treated differently, and you want to make sure that you are able to get the help and representation that you need in order to find political asylum in the United States. Finding a lawyer that focuses on immigration law can help you with that.