LGBTQ Claimants Aim to Boost Their Asylum Success Rate Past 98.8%
Amid this country’s burgeoning asylum claims, a cottage industry that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) applicants is doing a bustling business.
A San Francisco-based group says 98 percent of its homosexual clients win their asylum cases, far exceeding customary approval rates. Pushing the envelope even further a U.S. court has ruled that applicants merely “perceived to be gay” could qualify for asylum, regardless of their actual sexual orientation.
Persons identifying as LGBTQ can qualify for asylum as individuals “in a particular social group” that claims a reasonable or credible fear of persecution in their home countries. While still a relatively small percentage of overall asylum applications in the U.S., LGBTQ claimants enjoy a much higher success rate.
A UCLA Law study reported that a whopping 98.8 percent of LBGTQ asylum claims were approved between 2008 and 2017 (the most recent years for which such data were available). Overall asylum approval rates currently run around 40 percent, up from 30 percent in 2000.
Not surprisingly, LGBTQ asylum fraud cases have popped up. Late last year, a New York immigration attorney was convicted of coaching one of her clients to falsely claim he was a homosexual to improve his chances for approval.
In May, another lawyer was convicted of a similar scheme in which he advised several clients to seek asylum by falsely claiming they were members of the LGBTQ community and suffered persecution in their native countries.
Jared Culver, legal analyst at Numbers USA, says such prosecutions are a drop in the bucket.
“It is worth noting that many of the indicted and convicted asylum fraudsters were operating for years before being caught. The open and obvious nature of their actions indicate very little fear of being caught, which makes sense if you are operating within a system where fraud is rampant and the enforcement officials are overwhelmed and unable to detect fraud,” he notes.
Prior to Joe Biden entering office, the UCLA study found that 63.4 percent of LGBTQ claimants came from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Since the Biden administration scrapped the Remain in Mexico policy and opened the floodgates at the southern border, asylum cases have soared — along with ever-widening opportunities for mischief.
If the new standard for asylum becomes merely “perceived to be gay,” no fraud will be required.