Steven Schulman Quoted in Daily Beast on Central American Asylum-Seekers

Online periodical The Daily Beast, for its article “Deporting People to their Doom in Murderous Central America,” quoted Akin Gump pro bono partner Steven Schulman on the bureaucratic hurdles faced by those requesting asylum in the United States.

In the case of “Eduardo,” a man who fled Guatemala fearing for his life and applied for asylum, Schulman noted that, because an earlier deportation order had made him ineligible for asylum, “Eduardo” would need to apply for a withholding of removal, which has a higher burden of proof, adding that fear for one’s life is not enough to win asylum.

There are strict legal and evidentiary requirements and other complicating factors that make a good lawyer a critical part of any asylum case, Schulman said: “It’s dysfunctional. Some are put through hearings very quickly and others are waiting until 2019. It’s chaotic. It’s very inconsistent. Unfortunately the law is unevenly applied depending on the location.”

Speaking specifically of Central America and the problems faced by its migrants, he said, “Central American clients have been scrutinized in part because there is so much violence in the country that it’s viewed as just a violent place. Being in a violent place is not enough to gain asylum.”