Those seeking to escape immediate danger or imminent persecution often rely on false documents when fleeing to a safe country.  But can a fraudulent or illegal entry into the U.S. pose an issue for asylum?

The manner of entry into this country, or the circumvention of an orderly refugee process abroad, is indeed one of the factors that can weigh against granting asylum. That, however, cannot be an independent ground to deny asylum, but has to be considered in the context of other factors, as recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals and several Courts of Appeals.   See Lin v. Gonzales, 445 F.3d 127, 133-34 (2d Cir. 2006). As one court noted, if illegal entry were an independent reason to deny asylum, “virtually no persecuted refugee would obtain asylum.” Wu Zheng Huang v. INS, 436 F.3d 89, 100 (2d Cir. 2006).