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Jane T (LLC)
Jane T (LLC), Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
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Determine if Billy can file a petition for asylum on Janes

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Since Jane Doe's parents divorce, Jane has lived with her father John in Quebec during the school term and with her mother Anne in New York during school breaks and holiday vacations.Under Canadian law, both Anne and John retained full custodial and parental rights following the divorce.Jane was living in New York during a school break. Halfway through the break Jane telephoned her father in Toronto, asking to be allowed to return to Quebec early because she and Anne were not getting along. Jane ran away from her mother and Jane's mother was killed in a car accident .Her Jane refuses to return to Canada. Since Jane is a minor, her uncle Billy wants to file an asylum petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on her behalf. He has contacted the law firm you work for, claiming that Jane is afraid to return to Canada because John has physically abused her and that she will be used as a propaganda tool for the separatist movement. Jane claims that other rebellious children and even adults who disagree with the goals of the government have been used for propaganda purposes.

As of 1996, an assylum seeker must apply for assylum protection within one year of entering the United States or, unless they can prove extraordinary circumstances have changed their situation, be barred from filing for assylum. Jane does appear to be within the appropriate time frame.

However, asylum is granted in the United States when a person refuses to return to their country of birth or nationality because of:

(1) persecution, or
(2) a well-founded fear of persecution

due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

In regard to "assylum" the United States defines "persecution" to mean: actions taken due to the political beliefs of the person in fear of persectuion, not the political beliefs of the persecutor. INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478 (1992). Jane's fear does not appear to directly relate to the fact that she will be persecuted due to her race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, nor her political opinions. She is in fear of her legal parent and/or that she will be used for propaganda purposes because others believe Quebec should be separate from Canada.

She says "rebellious children" and others who disagree with the separatist movement have been used for propoganda. However, she does not say that her political views are different from the separatists, she merely falls into the category of a "rebellious child." Being a rebellious child does not grant one asylum status because rebellion is not based on race, religion, politics, social groups, etc.

Also, Jane cannot get over the fact that merely months ago, she requested to return to Quebec and her father. Does she mean to imply that her fear of propoganda and her father are newly found? This element must be proven to obtain asylum. Jane's prior behavior disproves her claims that she is in fear of persecution. She acted of her own free will and even attempted to return, counter to a court custody order.

The United States asylum provisions are not meant to be used in a case such as Jane's.
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