In response to incomplete advice recently released through the media, AILA South Florida is warning Venezuelans about the danger of filing frivolous asylum applications. Unlike what recently televised statements suggest, not all Venezuelans qualify for asylum and the loss of a claim can result in removal from the U.S. and the loss of the ability to return to the U.S. in the future. A judicial decision that an asylum claim was frivolous or fraudulent will result in permanently barring the applicant from returning to the U.S. or obtaining lawful status in the U.S.
Asylum law is a very complex and specialized area of immigration law and the United States has an extremely strict approval process for granting asylum. Applicants must prove to have been persecuted or face persecution upon return to their home country due to their, race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. General unrest, bad conditions, poor leadership and opposition to the current government in Venezuela do NOT warrant a grant of asylum.
As of this time, the U.S. government has granted no special relief to Venezuelan nationals.
AILA South Florida advises Venezuelans to be extremely cautious in their decision to apply for asylum in the United States. The professional organization highly recommends that all those considering an asylum application first consult with an immigration attorney with specialized experience in asylum cases to determine the merits of their claim and identify other alternatives for obtaining status in the U.S.