Can undocumented immigrants apply for asylum?

Based on the fact that Lulu Martinez, Lizbeth Mateo, Adriana Gil Diaz, Claudia Amaro, Luis Leon, Ceferino Santiago, Marco Saavedra, Maria Peniche, and Mario Felix (the so-called group of DREAM9 members who applied for asylum after leaving the US and reentering at the Nogales Border Checkpoint) were granted approval to argue their case before an immigration judge, many of you have asked if you can do the same in order to legalize your status in the United Status.

How can an alien take advantage of American asylum laws?

As everyone knows, United States is very kind to victims of violence or other crimes in foreign countries and it seems that the Obama Administration has decided to encourage unlawful immigrants to adjust their status by exploiting this loophole since Comprehensive Immigration Reform is not an option.  So if you want to become legal in America if you are already here or want to enter the US legally, try this:

  • Hire the most competent lawyer you can find. The downside is that if your asylum petition is denied, you will be deported and a ban may be imposed on entering the United States for some period of time.  Therefore, it is absolutely critical for you to think it through based on legal advice and choose this path only if you will be fine returning your native country.
  • Prepare your documents to support your case.      
  • Go to Mexico (you don't have to be a citizen of Mexico to go there if you are already in the US illegally but if you are elsewhere plan to fly into Mexico).  The land border crossing points have one way open door to Mexico without the presence of any immigration agents and you can basically just walk in.  If it is an option, use the opportunity to meet with friends and family or even take a vacation, but you could turn right back and join the long lines to cross the border into the United States.  If you can do that in a group, even better, but you can also do it alone.
  • Show your documents to the border agent and ask formally for an asylum.  The agent will take it from there.
  • Get arrested.  Obey orders and do what you are told (the officers are armed and authorized to shoot if you do something stupid).  Stay peaceful and do not talk (tell them that you will need an attorney).  Go to the detention center and stay out of trouble (no need to scream or protest or go on a hunger strike).
  • The asylum process will start and just follow the steps.  You will be told what to do by officers.  Use a prison pay-phone to stay in touch with your attorney and family.  Your lawyer will have already prepared you to answer all questions.
  • Most probably, you will be released (the prisons are overcrowded and there is no room for more so if you behave and cause no trouble during detention you will be released) and then you can apply for a work permit, driver's license, advanced parole (just don't travel to the country that you accused of torturing you because that will hurt your refugee case), and will be mostly to live like any other legal immigrant for years because the cases can drag in the courts.
  • Wait for your asylum petition to be approved and that point you will be eligible for a green card and eventually citizenship.