I am from a Middle Eastern country, I secretly converted from Islam to Christianity a while ago abroad through a church and saint, I am currently neither in the U.S. nor in my home country, but I am horrified to go back as I received death penalty threats from religious people in my country ........ Can I board a plane to the U.S. and request asylum? ........ Which is the best state? e.g. TX, CA?
A person who is physically present in the US can apply for asylum. Whether your situation constitutes strong grounds for eligibility for asylum is impossible to say without knowing a lot more about the situation. I would suggest you speak to a qualified US immigration lawyer by telephone or skype before you make your decision. There is no such thing as a 'best state' for asylum - it is governed by federal immigration law, not state law.
This response does not constitute legal advice, as not all of the facts are known to me. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship. I recommend you meet with an attorney to discuss your situation.
You may only apply for asylum if you are arriving in or already physically present in the United States, and Canada is better bet.
To get asylum in the US, you must show that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country. A well-founded fear is generally considered to be a chance of persecution of at least 10%. The persecution must be "on account of" your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular visible social group. Having converted from Islam to Christianity might fit in to one of these protected classes, but you would have to talk to an experienced asylum attorney in order to determine whether you have a viable claim. You will also have to show that your persecutor is the government or someone the government is unwilling or unable to control.
Asylum law in the U.S. is incredibly complex, and you absolutely will not get a complete answer by posting to AVVO. I highly recommend you speak to an experienced immigration attorney who understands asylum law.
An Asylum application can be filed within 1 year from your last entry into the U.S.
As to the strength of your basis of your asylum claim, you would need to consult a competent attorney who specializes in political asylum cases and is familiar with the Geo-political situation in your home country. It is also critical to establish the subjective fear of past persecution and/or well-founded fear of future persecution.
Finally, you must have sufficient evidence that the harm you suffered in your country rose to the level of persecution. All these criteria are rather complex and you need to obtain a professional opinion in a confidential setting to discuss your options.
If my answer is the "BEST ANSWER" and/or "HELPFUL" please mark it accordingly. Fluent in 7 languages. Certified Specialist in U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law, The State Bar of California, Board Of Legal Specialization. 23 years of successful immigration law experience. The answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
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