People living in Kentucky hoping to attain asylum may attempt to remain in the United States through applying for affirmative asylum. However, according to Findlaw, some applicants for asylum may end up in removal proceedings and will have to send a defensive asylum application instead. A defensive asylum process is more adversarial than affirmative asylum and can often be the last chance for many applicants to remain in the United States.
When someone is in a defensive asylum process, the person is in a removal proceeding which takes place in immigration court. The judge preceding over the case will hear from the person seeking asylum and the applicant’s legal representation and from an attorney employed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The aim of an asylum applicant is to convince the judge that he or she is eligible to stay in the United States and to avoid being removed from the country.
A judge will grant an asylum order if the applicant is successful in convincing the judge of eligiblity. However, in the event a judge does not find in favor of asylum, the judge may look for other solutions as alternatives to explusion from the United States, including granting the applicant an adjustment of status or discretionary relief. In the event no other solution can be found, the judge will order the departure of the applicant from the United States.
However, a judge’s removal order is not necessarily the last word in a defensive asylum case. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website points out that removal orders stemming from defensive asylum proceedings can be appealed. Keep in mind that the decision can be appealed by ICE attorneys as well, so a pro-asylum decision may not be entirely safe after it is handed down.