asylum seekers from Central America flee “gang violence” says CA attorney John Allured
February 12, 2018
An advocate for persons seeking asylum from Central America, attorney John W. Allured (CA bar license #84770) spoke on Immigration and the Law at Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos, CA on Sunday, February 11, 2018.
Attorney Allured was introduced by Pastor Dale Sollom-Brotherton. See information on the church website about the speaker.
Mr. Allured is a member of First Lutheran church in Palo Alto, CA.
Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos, CA supports the AMMPARO program. The church currently provides housing and other support for a family from El Salvador. The church may assist persons seeking refugee status via advocacy in the legal process as Guardian Angels.
AMMPARO was envisioned to accompany children today and in the future who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
Some of attorney John Allured’s remarks and some questions that were asked:
“Most persons seeking asylum from the Triangle countries (San Salvador, Guatamala & Honduras) seek asylum due to “gang violence”.
“The rate of those seeking asylum from Mexico has gone down and the rate from Central America has gone up.
Asylum seekers must show “credible fear”. What is that?
“Migrants do not have right to legal representation.
If “credible fear” is found the case moves forward to “removal status”, the juvenille is then “placed” and the case goes before a judge.
“In 2016, 50% of mothers with children lacked counsel; of these, 90% were removed.
“The chances of defeating removal increased 5 times when migrant had counsel. So says Attorney Allured.
“How does ‘gang violence” fit into all this? If only “gang violence” you have to do your homework to establish that your case fits within one of five categories.
“Asylum is discretionary. You must show “good character” via employment, church membership, credible witnesses and that you are a deserving person.
There are two Hearings — The first one which is on the Master Calendar is open to the public.
Asylum applicants have no “right” to due process. San Francisco judges (the one he observed) bend over backwards so applicants can establish their case. In San Francisco (his experience),c ases are typically continued 5-6 times before moving on to”removal” status. Which judge hears the case — in what part of the US — matters significantly.
Church congregations can serve as “guardian angels”. There’s nothing to fear. It’s an informal process. Judges do not wear robes. The federal rules of evidence serve as a guide.
Questions asked during and after Mr. Allured’s presentation at Christ Lutheran church in Aptos, CA included:
- What about economics? If a woman’s kids are starving is that a reason to establish asylum? Answer: No. You have to establish more than economic hardship. You have to show harm, that you were threatened, a family member killed.
- What about domestic violence? Terrorizing woman is very frightening one attendee asked. Answer: There are avenues for women …
- A man who lived 15 years in the Netherlands asked, Where do most persons seeking asylum here come from? Answer: Attorney Allurd said that he did not know. [There are 9 federal resettlement contractors one of the largest is the Lutheran church.] The man then asked a followup question, What would likely happen to those seeking asylum in Mexico? Mr. Allurd replied that he did not know. [Currently there is a backlog at the Mexico-US border.]
- There are reports that persons who enter illegally do not show up for their first court appearance. Know anything about that? Attorney Allurd replied that he did not know about no shows for court appearances. [One report states that 135,000 go missing and do not show up.]
After the presentation persons attending were encouraged to meet each other.
Information concerning various resources was available including Tell Me How it Ends, an essay in Forty Questions by Laleria Luiselli.
Aptos Psychologist: “I was a stranger and you offered me welcome … ” That’s the message of Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos, CA
Take Away message: Per this presentation, you better get an attorney if you are from Central America seeking asylum. Persons seeking asylum in the U.S. have no legal right to representation.
Concerning gang violence, Monterey County (Salinas, CA is the county seat) is ranked as the youth homicide capital of California for four out of the past five years. Gang violence is continually in the news. California has its own gang related problems.
People are not fleeing California for Central America because of ‘gang violence’. That there is economic opportunity, freedom and rule by law here in the U.S. draws people here. Legally and illegally. People who come need to follow the U.S.A. immigration laws that are in place.
written by Cameron Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org