Those Claiming Asylum Should Not Be Treated As Criminals

Contrary to misunderstandings circulating amongst the general public, undocumented immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. with a legitimate asylum claim are not illegal.

“Asylum applicants at the border are being treated like criminals,” said Moises Barraza, Attorney from the Immigration Law Office of Moises L. Barraza. “However, turning away asylum applicants at the border and dividing families in the name of prosecuting criminals is blatantly incorrect, unjust, and contrary to U.S. asylum law. Asylum applicants may be undocumented, but that does not make them illegal.”

U.S. asylum law allows for individuals to enter the U.S. and present an asylum claim at the border, even if they do not have documentation for legal entry or have entered without inspection. A vetting process requires the asylum applicant to pass a series of interviews before being permitted to defend his asylum claim before a Judge in Immigration Court. If the asylum applicant cannot prove in the initial interview that he has a legitimate asylum claim, he can be returned to his country of origin without being allowed to continue the process.

“Asylum applicants must at least be given the chance to pass or fail an initial asylum interview, no matter their age, gender, or country of origin,” added Attorney Moises Barraza. “Children, however, are less able to articulate the reason for their asylum claims and thus rely on their parents to help them in the asylum process. Therefore, separating children from their parents creates legal as well as humanitarian issues. Not only are children traumatized, but their ability to articulate their asylum claims is seriously undermined.”

The Immigration Law Office of Moises L. Barraza recommends that concerned individuals take action by calling their U.S. Senators and Representatives in Washington by following these steps:

  1. Dial the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
  2. Ask to be transferred to your Senators’/Congressional Representative’s offices
  3. Ask your Senator and your Representative to support S. 3036, THE KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER ACT

Note: Immigrants represented by an attorney are nearly five times more likely to obtain relief than those without an attorney. (Information obtained from the American Immigration Council). If you might benefit from consulting with an immigration attorney, please contact our law office today: 779-379-2770. We would be honored to assist you.

About the Immigration Law Office of Moises L. Barraza, LLC:

The Immigration Law Office of Moises L. Barraza provides high-quality and personalized legal services to individuals and families throughout Illinois and beyond. Attorney Barraza and his firm have earned numerous awards for their work, including The National Advocates’ Top 40 Under 40, the American Institute of Legal Counsel’s “10 Best” Immigration Attorney and “10 Best” Law Firm for Illinois, and The Expert Network’s Lawyer Designation in the Top 3% Nationally. Find out more at

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