New Hope for Those Previously Ordered Deported to Pakistan
By Anish Vashistha
Los Angeles , CA
Pakistani citizens who have been previously ordered removed to Pakistan may have a strong chance of having their immigration cases reopened and being granted asylum in the United States. Regardless of when their final orders of removal were issued, Pakistani citizens have a unique opportunity to have their cases reopened based on changed conditions in Pakistan.
The recent rise in violence in Pakistan has also increased the possibility of persecution for almost all Pakistanis in the United States facing deportation. This violence has spread to the entire country and has manifested in the growing tension between Sunnis and Shi’ites, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and the Taliban and Pakistani security forces. The expansion of indigenous militant groups even to previously safer metropolitan areas has been frequently reported by both Pakistani and the United States news sources. The inability of local, provincial, and national police and military forces to maintain security has been cited and criticized by the Dawn and the New York Times alike.
Pakistanis who have lived in the United States and have adapted to American culture would be even more of a target for such violence because they will be perceived in Pakistan as Americans. The United States Department of State has recently issued some of its most serious warnings to Americans traveling to Pakistan because of the targeting of Westerners by militant groups.
Most importantly, the United States Board of Immigration Appeals, which hears appeals from all of the country’s immigration courts, recognized last year both this tremendous increase in violence in Pakistan and the inability or unwillingness of Pakistani security forces to stem the violence.
This recognition by the Board represents a distinct opportunity for Pakistani asylum-seekers who have had their asylum claims denied and have been ordered removed. United States Immigration Law permits an individual who has had his asylum claim denied to seek a reopening of his case at any time based on changed country conditions that would show that he now has a well-founded fear of persecution in his home country. Pakistani citizens in the United States who previously had their asylum claims denied should look into such an opportunity to help protect themselves from being deported to Pakistan and to establish legal status for themselves in the United States.
( The author, Anish Vashistha, is a licensed attorney with a nationwide immigration-law practice. He is a graduate from Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He has helped several Pakistani nationals obtain or maintain legal status in the United States. He may be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 433-7016)