What a "Particular Social Group" Means for Asylum Purposes

Hello, everyone. Yifei He your immigration lawyer.

I represent a lot of individuals seeking asylum to the United States. And people seek asylum, usually flee from their home country because they were harmed there. And in order to qualify for asylum, to be protected as a refugee here in the U. S., which can get you a green card, you've got to prove that you've been harmed on account of a protected class. There are five protected classes, race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and fifth, particular social group. The other four that I mentioned are very straightforward. For example, you're a different race from the majority in your country. You were harmed because of that. It's a pretty clear cut case. But the last, particular social group, is the most amorphous and most difficult to define.

And what is a particular social group? It can be comprised of, say a tribal ethnicity in a certain region, which other people view as different from them, and so they try to harm them. It can also be viewed as people who are former members of the police or formal former members of the government and criminals in their country, are trying to harm them. And to qualify for asylum, You gotta prove that you belong in a particular social group and you have to define a particular social group to the adjudicator so that they'll understand. And they'll know that you're qualified for protection under those grounds.

What happened under the Trump administration is that the DHS, Department of Homeland Security, made it increasingly more and more difficult to be defined in a particular social group. For example, whereas before Trump, domestic violence victims were protected under a particular social group, under Trump, he's instituted a series of case decisions that say, because domestic violence victims, they themselves are not viewed in society as a distinct social group, they do not qualify for protection. This made it extremely difficult to protect domestic violence victims who seek protection in the United States. Which causes a lot of people to not seek Asylum and to just stay in the shadows. And to not come to the United States even though they deserve, and
they seek protection. So as an immigration lawyer, my goal is to change them all. To institute these cases that will eventually reverse the trump decisions, and to define particular social group once again as more encompassing of individuals seeking protection.

My name is Yifei He. I'm an immigration lawyer. I put the grant back in Immigrant. I'm here to protect you and your loved ones seeking asylum.

Thank you very much.