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Judge approves asylum plan for separated immigrant families

Tennessee residents may be aware that President Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy has been challenged in court by attorneys representing immigrant families separated at the Mexican border and advocacy groups. In July, a federal judge in California ordered the administration to reunite the separated families and asked the attorneys involved to develop a plan to deal with their asylum claims.

Many of the parents involved said that they were unprepared for their asylum hearings because they were concerned about their children. Some of these parents have been deported and many more face deportation because they were unable to establish that they were fleeing their home countries because of a credible fear. On Sept. 14, the judge announced that he approved of a plan submitted by attorneys representing the Department of Homeland Security and immigrant families that would give many of these immigrants a second chance to petition for asylum.

The agreement would require immigration officials to consider the psychological condition parents were in during their initial asylum interviews. However, already-deported parents will only be permitted to make new asylum claims after their cases have been reviewed by a federal judge.

The United States offers asylum to individuals who would face persecution or violence, but establishing the legitimacy of these fears is often difficult. Attorneys with experience in this area could help those seeking a new life in America gather evidence supporting their asylum claims. Attorneys may also explain alternative paths to legal residence or citizenship such as investment, employment and family-based visa programs.

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