Examples of writing a political asylum letter to the US

Introduction

Political asylum is a form of protection that the United States grants to people who have suffered or fear suffering persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Political asylum allows them to stay and work legally in the United States and to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.

However, applying for political asylum is not a simple or easy process. There are many requirements, procedures and challenges involved in obtaining political asylum. One of the most important and difficult steps is writing a political asylum letter, also known as a personal declaration or a statement of fear.

A political asylum letter is a document that explains in detail why you are requesting political asylum and what are the facts and evidence that support your claim. A political asylum letter is essential to convince the immigration authorities or the judge that you are eligible for political asylum and that you deserve it.

In this article, we will provide some examples of writing a political asylum letter to the United States, as well as some tips and recommendations on how to write it.

How do I write a Political Asylum Letter to the USA?

Currently, many people are unaware that, to apply for political asylum in the USA, it is not only necessary to show Form I-589. In fact, an asylum statement must also be attached, in which each of the reasons why the application should be approved is detailed for the authorities.

Therefore, having a model or example of how to write the political asylum letter is considered fundamental in order to have an appropriate asylum statement with a high probability of being approved.

Firstly, it should be considered that there is no general or standard model for a perfect asylum letter, mainly because each situation is unique and particular; therefore, the asylum statement should be different for each applicant according to their journey. This means that, under no circumstances can you simply take another person’s letter model and put your data by changing theirs.

That’s why the drafting of your political asylum letter should be focused on providing the authorities with a specific and detailed explanation of why you need protection; in this way, you should provide all the details that you consider key, which can be names, dates, and even locations. However, if the facts are considered too fanciful or even exaggerated, the immigration case officer will not hesitate to deny the application and restrict other immigration benefits.

It should be noted that, the statement must be completely written in English, therefore, if you do not master the language very well, write the letter in your native language and, subsequently, hire a certified translator who is responsible for carrying out the translation of the statement in a 100% accurate way.

Regarding the format to follow to assemble the political asylum letter, we recommend that you write it similar to a business letter; although, of course, if your particular situation requires it, you can include any section or heading that you find necessary or important.

What information should be included in the Political Asylum Letter?

Among the information recommended to include in your political asylum letter are the following details:

  • Name, date of birth, and country of origin.
  • Detailed explanation of the reasons for persecution in the country from which you originate. If the persecution is based on your religion, then indicate your religious belief, how long you have been practicing it, and what ceremonies or rituals you participate in. If, on the other hand, the persecution is for political reasons, then explain your political position and the associated activities you have recently been involved in. On the other hand, if your case of persecution is due to your relationship with a specific social group, then describe in detail that situation.
  • Explanation of what risks you would face if you moved to another place within your country of origin, detailing whether the persecution would remain constant or even intensify.
  • Mention of each of the reasons why the government of your country of origin cannot or does not want to provide the protection you need.

What information should NOT be indicated in the Asylum Letter to the US?

On the other hand, we indicate below what should be avoided at all costs when writing the political asylum letter to the United States:

  • Descriptions of events that turn out to be untrue, and that the authorities can easily corroborate.
  • Dramatically exaggerating situations to generate more impact.
  • Indicating details that are very irrelevant to your particular case.
  • Omitting important details, such as some dates, names of those involved, locations, particular situations, among others.
  • Descriptions of events without taking into account a chronological order.

Examples of writing a political asylum letter to the United States

Here are some examples of writing a political asylum letter to the United States, based on different scenarios and situations. These examples are fictional and do not reflect real cases or people. They are only meant to illustrate how to write a political asylum letter and what to include in it.

Example 1: Political persecution in Venezuela

This is an example of writing a political asylum letter to the United States by a person who has suffered political persecution in Venezuela because of their opposition to the regime of Nicolás Maduro.

To whom it may concern,

My name is Juan Pérez and I am a 35-year-old Venezuelan citizen. I am writing this letter to request political asylum in the United States because I have suffered and fear suffering persecution in Venezuela because of my political opinion and my membership in a particular social group.

I have always been an active and outspoken critic of the regime of Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chávez. I have participated in many protests, marches and rallies against their authoritarianism, corruption and human rights violations. I have also been involved in several opposition groups and movements, such as Voluntad Popular, Un Nuevo Tiempo and Soy Venezuela.

Because of my political activities, I have been targeted, harassed, threatened and attacked by the regime and its supporters. Here are some examples of what I have endured:

- In 2014, I was arrested and detained for three days by the National Guard during a peaceful protest in Caracas. I was beaten, tortured and interrogated by the officers, who accused me of being a terrorist, a traitor and a coup plotter. They also confiscated my phone, my laptop and my documents.
- In 2017, I was fired from my job as an engineer at PDVSA, the state-owned oil company, for signing a petition for a recall referendum against Maduro. I was also blacklisted from working in any other public or private company in Venezuela.
- In 2018, I was shot in the leg by a colectivo, an armed paramilitary group loyal to the regime, while I was distributing humanitarian aid to people affected by the economic crisis. I had to flee to Colombia to receive medical treatment, as the hospitals in Venezuela were collapsed and lacked supplies.
- In 2019, I returned to Venezuela to participate in the presidential election that was supposed to be held on January 10th. However, Maduro refused to step down and declared himself the winner of a fraudulent election that was not recognized by most of the international community. I joined the millions of Venezuelans who supported Juan Guaidó, the leader of the National Assembly who declared himself the interim president of Venezuela.
- In 2020, I was kidnapped and held hostage for two weeks by agents of the SEBIN, the intelligence service of the regime. They demanded that I reveal information about Guaidó's whereabouts and plans, as well as those of other opposition leaders. They also tried to force me to record a video confessing that I was part of a conspiracy against Maduro. They tortured me with electric shocks, waterboarding and beatings.
- In 2021, I managed to escape from my captors with the help of some friends who bribed one of the guards. I fled to Brazil with my wife and my two children, who had also suffered threats and attacks from the regime. We applied for refugee status at the UNHCR office in Brasilia, but we were told that it would take months or years to process our case. We decided to travel to the United States with tourist visas that we obtained through an intermediary who charged us $5,000 each. We arrived in Miami on February 15th, 2021 and we immediately contacted an immigration lawyer who advised us to apply for political asylum.

I have attached to this letter copies of documents and evidence that prove my identity, my political activities, my persecution and my fear of returning to Venezuela. These include:

- My Venezuelan passport and ID card
- My Brazilian tourist visa and entry stamp
- My UNHCR refugee application form and receipt
- My medical records and photos of my injuries
- My PDVSA termination letter and blacklist certificate
- My petition for recall referendum signature and receipt
- My opposition group membership cards and certificates
- My protest photos and videos
- My colectivo shooting report and witness statements
- My SEBIN kidnapping report and witness statements
- My video confession transcript and analysis
- My newspaper articles and social media posts about my case

I respectfully request that you grant me political asylum in the United States, as I have a well-founded fear of persecution in Venezuela because of my political opinion and my membership in a particular social group. I also request that you grant political asylum to my wife and my two children, who are also Venezuelan citizens and who have accompanied me to the United States. They have also suffered and fear suffering persecution in Venezuela because of their family ties to me.

I thank you for your attention and your consideration of my case. I am willing to provide any additional information or evidence that you may require. I hope to receive a positive response from you soon.

Sincerely,

Juan Pérez

Example 2: Religious persecution in China

This is an example of writing a political asylum letter to the United States by a person who has suffered religious persecution in China because of their membership in the Falun Gong movement.

To whom it may concern,

My name is Li Mei and I am a 28-year-old Chinese citizen. I am writing this letter to request political asylum in the United States because I have suffered and fear suffering persecution in China because of my religion and my membership in a particular social group.

I am a practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that teaches meditation, morality and the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. I started practicing Falun Gong in 2012, when I was studying at the University of Beijing. I found peace, happiness and health through Falun Gong, which helped me cope with the stress and pressure of my academic life.

However, since 1999, the Chinese government has launched a brutal campaign of persecution against Falun Gong, which it considers a cult and a threat to its power. The government has banned Falun Gong, arrested its leaders, closed its facilities, confiscated its materials, blocked its websites, slandered its reputation, tortured its practitioners, harvested their organs and killed them.

Because of my practice of Falun Gong, I have been targeted, harassed, threatened and attacked by the government and its agents. Here are some examples of what I have endured:

- In 2013, I was expelled from the University of Beijing for distributing Falun Gong flyers on campus. I was also interrogated by the police, who accused me of spreading illegal propaganda and endangering national security. They also searched my dormitory, seized my books, CDs and laptop.
- In 2014, I was arrested and detained for two months in a re-education through labor camp for participating in a peaceful protest in Tiananmen Square. I was forced to renounce Falun Gong, watch anti-Falun Gong videos, recite communist slogans and do hard labor. I was also beaten, starved and deprived of sleep by the guards.
- In 2015, I was kidnapped and held captive for three weeks in a black jail, an illegal detention center run by the 610 Office, a secret police force dedicated to eradicating Falun Gong. I was injected with unknown drugs, electrocuted with wires, burned with cigarettes and raped by the officers. They also tried to extract my organs for transplant.
- In 2016, I managed to escape from the black jail with the help of some fellow practitioners who bribed one of the guards. I fled to Thailand with my boyfriend, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner. We applied for refugee status at the UNHCR office in Bangkok, but we were told that it would take months or years to process our case. We decided to travel to the United States with tourist visas that we obtained through an intermediary who charged us $10,000 each. We arrived in Los Angeles on March 10th,
2021 and we immediately contacted an immigration lawyer who advised us to apply for political asylum.

I have attached to this letter copies of documents and evidence that prove my identity,
my religious practice,
my persecution
and my fear of returning to China.
These include:

- My Chinese passport and ID card
- My Thai tourist visa and entry stamp
- My UNHCR refugee application form and receipt
- My University of Beijing expulsion letter
- My re-education through labor camp release certificate
- My medical records and photos of my injuries
- My black jail report and witness statements
- My organ extraction report and analysis
- My Falun Gong books, CDs and flyers
- My protest photos and videos
- My newspaper articles and social media posts about my case

I respectfully request that you grant me political asylum in the United States, as I have a well-founded fear of persecution in China because of my religion and my membership in a particular social group. I also request that you grant political asylum to my boyfriend, who is also a Chinese citizen and who has accompanied me to the United States. He has also suffered and fear suffering persecution in China because of his practice of Falun Gong.

I thank you for your attention and your consideration of my case. I am willing to provide any additional information or evidence that you may require. I hope to receive a positive response from you soon.

Sincerely,

Li Mei

Finally, it is recommended that, in case of doubts about the drafting of the letter, the best and most feasible thing will be to have the legal advice of an immigration expert lawyer; who can write the letter for you and even indicate each of the steps you should follow for its proper presentation.

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