ARIZONA NEWS

Valley immigration attorney explains legal process for asylum seekers

Apr 12, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:31 am
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Some of the newly arrived migrants could be waiting years to have their asylum cases resolved.

“There’s really no pattern,” Linda Frayre, an immigration attorney in El Mirage, told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “I have asylum cases that after a year and a half, they’re having their final court hearing. And there are others that it’s going to be four years exactly from when we filed the application.”

She said it often has to do with the backlog in cases and how packed the schedule is for the immigration judge assigned to the case.

Frayre has been helping asylum seekers with their cases since 2018 when immigration officials began dropping off migrants, many of them from Central America, at churches in the Phoenix metro area.

“A lot of these asylum seekers are coming in because they’re afraid, and they have a very legitimate fear of losing their lives,” Frayre said.

“They were going through very difficult situations back in their home countries and they didn’t feel they had the protection from local authorities or anyone they could reach out for help.”

One of her clients worked as a driver for a bus company that made a deal with a gang in El Salvador. He refused to get involved and was threatened.

“He came here seeking help,” Frayre said. “While he was here, they burned down his home where his children resided. Thankfully they were not home that day.”

He began the asylum process in 2018. Since then his court hearings have been rescheduled multiple times, delaying his proceedings.

Frayre said that has happened with a few of her clients.

A few of her clients have also been unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the United States.

“I have other cases where children run away because they’re being abused by their parents,” she said. “They’re being punished by the local gangs because they don’t want to be part of their gang. They’re being harassed because of their indigenous status, and that is causing them to fear for their lives.”

She explained once the children get to the border, they are first placed in strained border holding facilities. Then they’re transferred to facilities more suited for children until they can be placed with sponsors, who are usually parents or close relatives in the U.S.

“Unfortunately, many of those children don’t have family members here that have legal status,” Frayre said. “Therefore, the family is afraid to go forward and say, ‘Hey, I’ll sponsor my nephew or my cousin.’”

Children released to sponsors are given notices to appear in court, so they can pursue their asylum cases. Their sponsors are required to go with them as well, which makes those who are undocumented feel scared about getting detained.

Frayre said she has had about 10 clients who were unaccompanied minors. All have been released to sponsors and some still have pending asylum cases.

“It’s very rewarding when I’m able to help those children,” she said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photos via Buckeye Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Buckeye Police boost reward to $12,000 for tips in fatal hit-and-run of 16-year-old girl

Authorities have upped the reward for tips in the fatal hit-and-run of a 16-year-old girl more than two years ago in Buckeye.
11 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police fatally shoot man who allegedly drove into patrol vehicle

Police shot and killed a man who allegedly drove into a patrol vehicle outside a Mesa convenience store early Wednesday.
11 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks about manufacturing jobs and the economy at SK Siltron CSS, a computer c...
KTAR.com

President Joe Biden schedules visit to Phoenix for next week

President Joe Biden will visit a Phoenix microchip plant next week to tout his economic plan, the White House announced Wednesday.
11 hours ago
(Twitter File Photo/@PhoenixPolice)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police fatally shoot robbery suspect after car chase

Police in Phoenix said they fatally shot an armed robbery suspect after a car chase late Tuesday night.
11 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)...
SuElen Rivera

Former Arizona AG says not certifying an election is a criminal violation

Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard on Tuesday said there are criminal consequences for those who neglect to certify an election.
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Mici Italian)...
KTAR.com

Mici Italian restaurant to open second Valley location in Queen Creek

Colorado-based restaurant Mici Italian is preparing to open its second Valley location in Queen Creek sometime during the winter. 
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Valley immigration attorney explains legal process for asylum seekers