The United States grants many people from China asylum, more often than any other country. The main reasons for this are China’s one child policy, political repression, and lack of religious freedom.
There have been several high profile cases of people in the United States caught helping Chinese people file fraudulent asylum applications. If you are Chinese and afraid to return to China and someone tells you to lie on an asylum application, they are not helping you. You need an experienced, honest attorney to help you if you are afraid to return to China.
One Child Policy
In China, most families are only allowed to have one child. This rule is against American values, as we believe that a family should be able to have as many children as they want. Many people who have been mistreated as a result of the one child policy in China have received asylum in the United States.
In order to qualify for asylum, a person must have a fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a social group. For years, this was a problem, as people persecuted for disobeying the one child policy did not clearly fit into one of these groups. Congress fixed that by passing a law that says that anyone who receives a forced abortion or sterilization due to the one child policy has been persecuted on account of her political opinion.
In the past, if a woman was forcibly given an abortion, the United States granted asylum to the woman’s husband, assuming that the husband was taking the risk of going to America on behalf of his wife and would bring his wife with once asylum is granted. Note that this is no longer the case. If a woman wants to be granted asylum because of a forced abortion, she must show up in the United States herself. If only the husband shows up in the United States, he must be able to show that he was somehow persecuted by the government, beyond losing his unborn child.
In many provinces, people who violate China’s one child policy are only punished with fines or a loss of job. In most cases, this is not severe enough to be granted asylum in the United States. If you have suffered a harsh punishment because you violated China’s one child policy, consult with an experienced asylum attorney to see if you might qualify for asylum.
Some Chinese women enter the United States in order to give birth, hoping to either qualify for asylum or avoid China’s one child policy. Keep in mind three things: 1) American courts have ruled that Chinese children born in the United States are not enough for their parents to qualify for asylum; 2) Chinese immigration laws put an extra burden on a getting a visa for an American born child with Chinese parents, and 3) American officials sometimes deny visitor visas to women who come to America to give birth. If you are a Chinese woman and thinking of entering America temporarily to give birth, consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
Religious and Political Persecution
The Chinese government has been known to place restrictions on internet use, political speech, and certain religious practices. Members of groups that advocate for human rights or are considered politically sensitive face increased scrutiny and repression. America highly values the right to speak freely and worship freely, and has protected many Chinese people who have been persecuted for doing so.
If you or a relative is a Chinese citizen in the United States who is afraid of returning to China, New York Human Rights Committee may be able to help you. We have Chinese speaking representatives standing by. Call us at +1 (800) 560-1768 today. We are available 24/7.