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Last month, Attorney Modi appeared on ABC Channel 13 News to provide insight into an unfortunate situation that occurred in Houston in which five undocumented people were involved in a police chase. Some of the individuals inside the car were teenagers, and none of the individuals had status in the United States. As Hedwig Village police sergeant Steve Packard noted, “These folks were not armed. They didn’t have any drugs. They just tried to get here to try and find a job.”

Attorney Susham Modi was interviewed to discuss what immigration options may be available to the five undocumented individuals. As Attorney Modi explained, their immigration options depend on their circumstances: “Are they afraid to go back to their home country? Would they file for asylum? And there are even more scenarios, like what if any of the individuals in the van had a prior removal order? That circumstance, they may get quickly removed if not afraid to go back.”

Individuals are eligible for asylum in the United States if they can establish that they have a well-founded fear of returning to their home country on account of one of the five protected grounds: race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Applicants for asylum need to apply within one year of their entry to the United States, unless exceptional circumstances apply.

Asylum is not the only option, however. If someone is a victim of sex trafficking or labor trafficking and they have complied with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance, they may be eligible for a T Visa. Similarly, if an individual is a victim of a certain crimes who has suffered mental or physical abuse and has assisted law enforcement in their investigation, may be eligible to apply for a U visa. Both the T and U visas allow victims to stay in the United States and eventually, if they are eligible, adjust their status to permanent resident.

The Modi Law Firm, PLLC has significant experience assisting individuals with applications for asylum, or with T and U visas. If you think you may qualify for one of these forms of relief, you should reach out to The Modi Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation and discuss your case. There may be other reliefs they could be eligible for as well depending on their individual circumstances, which is why we recommend a legal consultation with a competent immigration attorney if someone is especially placed in removal proceedings.

Click here to see the full interview.