This is Atlanta with Alicia Steele

The Atlanta Asylum Network

Thousands of people from all over the world come to the United States seeking asylum each year. Many of them have been physically or psychologically tortured in their native countries. There are numerous organizations throughout the United States whose mission is to assist those in search of safety and freedom from persecution.

Last year, group of committed volunteers from Physicians for Human Rights and the Emory University Center for Humans Rights formed the Atlanta Asylum Network.

The Atlanta Asylum Network is dedicated to facilitating political asylum for torture survivors by providing medical and psychological evaluations to support a person’s case for asylum. Certain criteria must be met before the Atlanta Asylum Network agrees to take a case; and one of them is having legal representation.

Legal representation plays a major role in the success of achieving asylum status in this country. Unfortunately some requests for asylum may not be valid or viable enough to withstand the rigors of achieving asylum status.

The Atlanta Asylum Network may get 1-3 cases per month. The case is usually presented to the Network by the attorney of the person seeking asylum. Tighter U.S. immigration restrictions have reduced the number of asylum seeking cases significantly.

Persons entering the U.S. without a visa are automatically sent to a detention center and held there until their case for admittance is heard. Their case, at times, may not be reviewed until 12-18 months later. Upon review, there is no guarantee that the person will achieve asylum.

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