Gang, cartel, and government informants and witnesses for the prosecution are in inherently dangerous positions and have good reason to fear returning to their home country due to retaliation from those they informed on or testified against. U.S. asylum law in this area is still evolving but protection may exist.
The Board of Immigration Appeals has historically had problems with identifying informants as a protected social group because the very nature of being an informant – it’s confidential or is supposed to be confidential work so it is difficult to define who the members are because they are not easily recognizable by the general public or society at large (i.e., they are not necessary “visible”). The BIA and reviewing courts have also pointed out that asylum protection should not be granted for someone who is willingly assuming the risk of harm that being an informant could bring. This reasoning has also been applied to police officers fleeing cartels who are trying to murder or harm the police officers for working against the cartel. The police officers took the job knowing the risk involved is the argument.
To be successful in an informant-based asylum claim, where you are located in the country as well as the ability to define the social group with enough specificity to be identifiable and distinct from others in the community can play a huge role. Social group analysis can be very complicated and sometimes, your asylum claim can spill over into other areas of asylum protection including persecution based on political opinion and religion.
These cases are very difficult to do on your own given the difficulty of framing the claim, documenting the case, and keeping up with the changing case law. Consult a competent asylum attorney today and do so quickly. Remember, asylum cases have strict deadlines for filing and responding to evidence requests and appeals deadlines. Don’t miss your chance to file for your own protection.
SGG’s team of asylum attorneys regularly handle asylum cases all over the country and can identify and analyze the Circuit court’s stance in your area on informant asylum social group analysis and can give you a realistic assessment of your outcome and recommend any alternative theories if you are in a hostile jurisdiction. We take cases at various stages – whether you are applying for the first time with USCIS or are facing removal and need to apply for asylum to stay in the U.S. Call us today.