If your cousin entered the U.S. less than one year ago, then yes, he can file for asylum before the court. However, even if he has been here longer than one year, he may still be able to file a Withholding of Removal claim for religious persecution. An experienced immigration lawyer should be able to transfer the case to California with a change of venue motion. Best of luck
Correct. Your cousin needs an experienced immigration attorney to file a motion for bond for him. He would NOT be wise doing it himself, since, if his motion is denied, he cannot make another motion absent a "change of circumstances" and many IJs do not consider the fact the person hired an attorney after the bond hearing a sufficient "change of circumstances." If the IJ grants bond, and your cousin is able to post the bond, the lawyer can file a motion to change venue to California. In order to let you know about his chances for being granted bond, I'd need to know a little more about the case. Where is your cousin being held - what city? Who is the IJ assigned to his case? How long has he been in the US? What is the nature of his asylum claim? How close are the ties he has with relatives? Etc. Feel free to post additional details or send me an e-mail if you have specific questions. I wish you and your cousin the best of luck.
DISCLAIMER: This posting is for informational purposes only and based upon limited information given and, accordingly, this posting cannot be considered comprehensive legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship.