ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE

Immigration Daily


Chinese Immig. Daily




The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
© 1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

Letters from Witnesses

Rate this Entry

One key piece of evidence in most asylum cases is the witness letter.* Under the REAL ID Act, asylum applicants are required to obtain evidence where such evidence is reasonably available.* Often times, the only evidence that is reasonably available is a letter from a witness.* So what makes a good witness letter?


First, the witness needs to identify herself and state how she knows the applicant.* While this may seem like a no-brainer, you'd be surprised how many witnesses don't include this information.* I prefer that the witness states her name, address, phone number, and email address.* Then she should describe how she knows the applicant (for example, "Mr. X and I met in the church choir in 2003.").



There's no excuse for failing to get witness letters.



Next, the witness should list what they know about the applicant's claim-here, the attorney should emphasize to the witness (or the applicant who will relay it to the witness) that she should focus on the legally relevant facts.* Extraneous material is a distraction.* I can't tell you how many witness letters I've seen where the witness rambles on about how he hopes everything is fine in America and that he is praying for the applicant.* Who cares?* Instead, the witness should mention what he or she knows about the case.* One way to start this section of the letter is like this: "Mr. X asked me to write what I know about his problems in Cameroon.* Here is what I know..."


Also, I prefer that the witness write about what she has seen with her own eyes.* Did the witness see the applicant engage in political activity?* Did she see the applicant get arrested?* Did she see the applicant's injuries after he was released from detention?* The witness should write what she saw (and the date that she saw it).* Secondhand information is admissible, but most fact finders will give such information little weight.


I also hate when witnesses give me general statements, like "Please don't return to Ethiopia, it is dangerous here."* Not helpful.* We want specific information about why it is dangerous, not general, conclusory statements that really tell us nothing.* A better letter might say, "Please don't return to Ethiopia, as the police came to the house on March 4, 2012 and they asked about you."


My clients often ask about how long the letter should be.* My hope is that the letters will be under one page, though sometimes more space is necessary if a witness has a lot of information.* I prefer that the witness gets to the point and doesn't waste time with irrelevant information, so hopefully that leads to shorter letters.* Also, the longer the letter, the greater the possibility for inconsistencies.


Finally, I prefer that the witness include a copy of her photo ID (passport, work ID, school ID, etc.).* Also, if the witness and the applicant know each other from school, for example, it would be nice to have some evidence that the witness attended the school (like a transcript).* Of course, this assumes that the applicant has also included evidence that he attended that school.


One final note about witness letters.* Unless they are consistent with the applicant's affidavit, they will harm the case.* I would rather submit no letter than an inconsistent letter.* For this reason, it is important to compare the witness letters with the applicant's affidavit (and his other evidence) to ensure consistency.* While people often have different recollections of events-even dramatic events-the fact finder in an asylum case will likely draw a negative inference from inconsistent statements, and this could cause the application to be denied as not credible.


Witness letters are often crucial to a successful asylum application.* A well-crafted letter will help your client's case and could make the difference between a grant and a denial.


Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to Facebook Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to Twitter Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to Google Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to StumbleUpon Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to Reddit Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to Digg Submit "Letters from Witnesses" to del.icio.us

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags

Comments

  1. Rose Powell's Avatar
    The phenomenon about the witness letter for the assembling the political asylum is vividly defined within the topic. I will keep custom essay points in my mind while attempting the option of the witness letter.
  2. Tucker Stacey's Avatar
    My name is tucker stacey.This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Trust has rendered to me by helping me get my ex husband back with his magic and love spell. i was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking for a divorce but when i came across Dr.Trust email on the internet on how he help so many people to get thier ex back and help fixing relationship.and make people to be happy in their relationship. i explained my situation to him and then seek his help but to my greatest surprise he told me that he will help me with my case and here i am now celebrating because my Husband has change totally for good. He always want to be by me and can not do anything without my present. i am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. i will keep on testifying on the internet because Dr.Trust is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR TRUST NOW VIA EMAIL: Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or call +2348156885231 or ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com. He is the only answer to your problem and make you feel happy in your relationship. his Via web sit: http://ultimatespellcast8.wix.com/ultimatespellcast
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: