Colorado readers may be interested to learn that a Sudanese man seeking asylum in the United States was arrested moments after completing an interview with federal immigration officials in California. Experts say the arrest, which took place on Feb. 8, is just the latest in a series of aggressive immigration-related moves by the Trump administration.
According to media reports, the man was taken into custody just after undergoing a two-hour asylum interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services branch in San Francisco. He was seeking asylum because he fears the ruling political party in Sudan would persecute him for not sharing its views. The man's lawyer claims he has never before witnessed someone arrested at an asylum office.
ICE officials have arrested at least one other person at an asylum office since President Trump took office. A Venezuelan man was taken into custody at a Florida asylum office in April 2016. Meanwhile, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have also started arresting immigrants in courthouses and other sensitive areas previously considered off-limits by enforcement agencies. A spokesperson for ICE said the Sudanese man was arrested for violating the terms of his temporary visa, which was issued in 2014. The agency also claims he is wanted on criminal charges in the United Arab Emirates.
Individuals seeking asylum may benefit by seeking the representation of an immigration attorney as soon as possible. An attorney could protect a client's interests during court hearings and work to get theasylum application approved. If an asylum seeker has been placed in an immigration detention center, an attorney could work to gain release and help avoid deportation and removal.