If you are applying for asylum in the United States, we recommend that you hire an asylum expert witness to help you establish that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in your country of origin.
Choose an asylum expert witness with extensive knowledge of the country from which you fear persecution. The expert should study your application for asylum, and be able to inform the USCIS officer or the Immigration Judge as to whether your fear of persecution is well-founded.
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The expert witness should provide a written opinion concerning your case. If you are in Immigration Court, the witness should be available to testify under oath about your asylum application. Your attorney will direct questions to the expert witness and the government attorney will cross examine the witness. Sometimes, the Immigration Judge will ask the expert witness questions.
This testimony may be very helpful in dispelling any doubts that the government attorney or the Immigration Judge has about your asylum application.
For example, consider the case of an Indonesian man who was a Christian and applied for asylum based on religious persecution before an Immigration Judge in San Francisco.
I remember the Judge telling us before the hearing that she had never granted anyone from Indonesia asylum based on religious persecution. She said that although she believed that Christians were discriminated against in that country, she did not think that they were persecuted.
However, the testimony of our expert witness changed her mind and she granted our client’s asylum application.
You can download an Excel Spreadsheet – Asylum Expert Witness List – compiled by the Washington State Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in 2017 by searching for it on Google.
Also, the following links may be helpful in finding an asylum expert witness to help you:
- The Importance of Expert Witnesses
- Request Expert Consultation for Asylum Case (Center for Gender and Refugee Studies)
- Expert Witnesses Asylum – ALM Experts
- Asylum Expert Witnesses – Forensis Group
Asylum Expert Witness List – International Refugee Rights Initiative
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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