Credible Fear Is Not Personal Situations

By: Attorney Beckford

August 24, 2020

There is a lot of confusion among clients as to what is credible fear. 

One client had a real fear of returning to her home country because she had an on going fued with her neighbor. The neighbor had threatened bodily harm. The client had reported the matter to local police but nothing was done. The client came to the United States illegally and sought asylum under the credible fear rationale. The court found that since the basis of the fear was personal and not stemming from the government or the country’s policy’s- this did not rise to the level of a credible fear.

What is the credible fear screening 

Individuals who are placed in expedited removal proceedings and who tell a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official that they fear persecution, torture, or returning to their country or that they wish to apply for asylum should be referred for a credible fear screening interview conducted by an asylum officer.

If the asylum officer determines that the asylum seeker has a credible fear of persecution or torture, it means that the person has proven that he or she has a “significant possibility” of establishing eligibility for asylum or other protection under the Convention Against Torture. The individual will then be referred to immigration court to proceed with the defensive asylum application process.

What happens If the officer Finds no Credible Fear

If the asylum officer determines the person does nothave a credible fear, the individual is ordered removed. Before removal, the individual may appeal the negative credible fear decision by pursuing a truncated review process before an immigration judge. If the immigration judge overturns a negative credible fear finding, the individual is placed in further removal proceedings through which the individual can seek protection from removal, including asylum. If the immigration judge upholds the negative finding by the asylum officer, the individual will be removed from the United States.

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