How Interview for Asylum, Impacts an Asylum Case

What happens in the life of an asylum seeker?  Life of an asylum seeker is suspended on the ropes of uncertainty. They don’t know from the first day when they decide to take the first step towards an uncertain destination, in search of a safe and secure life away from the threats they face, oblivion of the fact that their first step could be a step towards the end of their life or towards even a worse life.

It’s only a hope that drags them all along towards the secure shores and places. Who is willing to leave his beloved country and caring family for a journey towards an uncertain life?

Not everyone is courageous enough to take that first step. How many have died on their ways to reach some safe places.  They were not sure they would reach their destination but still, they took that first step.

While counting the days of my life and counting the hours, minutes and seconds of each passing day in this asylum accommodation, I still think that life of an asylum seeker is still uncertain in my situation. Every one of us here is unaware of the future to come. We don’t know whether we are gonna be able to stay here or we will have to run, due to a negative decision, towards another destination. Many of us shave spent here more than ten years in the system. After that, they are handed a negative decision to tell them that they don’t belong here. It’s not a pleasant life but leave that for another day, today let’s talk specifically about the interview problems which asylum seekers face.

The process of an interview is not that easy process. It’s not only the case of an asylum seeker that matters, but a lot of other aspects also go into the consideration of a single asylum case, hearing and decision.  There are people who are not confident enough to speak properly in a tense environment, in front of the authorities.

They try to explain, their issues to the authorities but fumble and mumble, not because they are not sure about their issues but because they are confused and under pressure.

I am able to narrate all this because I have been there and done that.  I am a law graduate and have been a lawyer in the past so I was pretty confident in that environment but I saw the conduct of the interviewer and I have experienced the pressure they mount. It was not a friendly environment there.
You are questioned and rebutted even on petty matters, just to shake your confidence and break you off. That environment is not the one that is created to extract the details of your case. I particularly felt that, this kind of environment is just the proponent of the policy of the government if I would say safely, to increase the refusals and allow only a few.

Other than that the temperament of the interviewer does count a lot. My friend got an interviewer who was very calm and cool minded, asked every question and recorded the answers but did not try to deny his credibility just for the sake of shaking the confidence of the interviewee. Mine was just the opposite and exactly like I explained. She denied the documents of a European government in my file, which even mentioned the name, number, email and all the contacts of that relevant department just for the sake of what?

It’s not a question on the credibility of that document. It’s a question on the ability of that person. For example, if someone denies accepting the credibility of the constitution of Ireland, it will not nullify the Irish Constitution but it will definitely give you the idea about the credibility of the one who is denying this constitution.

I don’t know whether this is a flaw in the policy of the Irish government who wants to increase the number of refusals or, it’s the flaw of the hiring department which was unable to hire an authentic person to the post, who could actually tell the right from wrong.

I am not being mean to anyone, I have not mentioned the name of anyone, it’s just that what I felt when I was there for my interview for asylum.  

Who is responsible for a wrongful appoint to a responsible post.   The interviewer for my friend was not Irish and was not very good in English as well. Who is responsible for the mistakes she could make in an during the recording of an interview, which they usually do by typing on a computer.

Any small mistake can change the meaning of a whole sentence. For example, I was asked a trick question by my interviewer that if I felt safe in Ireland and my answer was like” laws and policies of Pakistan does not protect me”. But my interviewer actually omitted to write Pakistan in the sentence and it came out as laws and policies don’t protect me, as if I was talking about Ireland.

This is a small typo mistake but crucial for my case as it could mean that Ireland was not safe for me. Though I got it corrected but still, if I had not checked this then what.

Normal standard procedure for asylum interview is to discredit a person on the basis of dates he could tell from the top of his head.  

The matter of dates is like no one could remember easily the exact date of the events in his life. So whatever you write in your application, they will test your memory for dates and don’t get me wrong here I am talking about the dates of your school degree, college degree, certificates, and not about the ones directly related to the asylum case. They will actually discredit you on petty things like date of your marriage, divorce, first certificate and first day in college which has nothing to do with your case. This is a standard procedure.

Other than that if a person is inherently biased towards asylum seekers, there is no way to test that. They can be there, in the most responsible position and could be deciding the matters of life and death, harming your case, because of that inherent bias against asylum seekers.

This does not end here, many asylum seekers who ask for the translators, they are totally dependent on the translation and understanding of the translator. Now there is no way to find out for the asylum seeker to check the translation and the intent which the asylum seeker wanted to portray is reflected in the translation as well.

Many of the asylum seeker run from their threatening situations but unable to provide any proofs which they could not think of collecting while running from their hazardous situations. So they lack the required evidence to prove the legitimacy of their case.

There could be many more issues than one. If interview of an asylum seeker has not gone well, that would translate into a refusal of his asylum case, but that could not mean for sure his case was ingenuine or untrue.  Refusal could be because of lack of evidence but that does not mean, asylum seeker lied, its just that no one thinks of collecting evidence before running from a danger and not every kind of event can be recorded in some form of evidence. So mere refusal on a case does not discredit the asylum seeker, it’s just that he could not prove his case, sometimes refusals are based only on minor things like the wrong mentioning of an irrelevant date in the case. Which should not happen but it does.  

Claiming asylum, leaving your loved ones behind, accepting a life of uncertainty, facing the sharp-edged question of harsh authorities, is not an ideal situation which everyone dreams of. 

Try to feel that in your hearts and understand the situation of those who go through such circumstances. They should be appreciated for their uncertain but courageous step towards an unknown, uncertain destination.  


Post a Comment