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Joe Christensen, Inc.




The Attorney General lacks discretion to grant asylum to any refugee "if, prior to arrival in the United States, he or she entered into another nation with, or while in that nation received, an offer of permanent resident status, citizenship, or some other type of permanent resettlement." This rule, the doctrine of firm resettlement, is unique among the mandatory bars to asylum in the United States. It does not reflect a societal judgment about the moral fitness of an asylum applicant's character-as, for example, does the bar that prohibits granting asylum to persons with a history of violent criminal behavior. Nor does it reflect a societal judgment of policy-as, for example, do the bars that prohibit asylum to persons who may represent a risk to the health or security of the U.S. citizenry. The bar to asylum for refugees firmly resettled in third states rather originates in the international definition of a refugee, or more precisely, in the potential for the facts that constitute firm resettlement to disqualify an otherwise eligible refugee from asylum.



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