The Forensic Psychology Group provides law firms and attorneys nationwide with expert forensic psychological services in the areas of immigration law, including:
- Extreme and Exceptional Hardship
- Political Asylum
- Spousal Abuse
- U Visas
Extreme and Exceptional Hardship
In extreme and exceptional hardship cases, a citizen of the United States, or a legal permanent resident of the United States, is the spouse, fiancée, parent, or child of an individual who may be deported from the U.S. The United States citizen applies for a waiver on the basis that deportation would result in an extreme and exceptional hardship. Relevant factors in these cases include family relationships that would make it extraordinarily difficult for that person to leave the country. For example, a United States citizen may have a sick parent or sibling or be unable to make a living in the country to which his or her spouse would be deported. The U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident might himself or herself be under treatment for a medical condition which could not be as well treated outside of the United States. The children of the United States citizen or legal permanent resident might be far advanced in their education in this country, and unable to speak, read, or write in the language of the foreign country. In such cases, leaving the United States might represent a permanent bar to the completion of their education. In extreme and exceptional hardship cases, if one parent has to leave the United States, it can produce a separation anxiety disorder on the part of the child left behind. Some children, especially those who are very young and lack the emotional maturity to understand why a parent might have to leave the United States, might also develop a depressive disorder.
In political asylum cases, an individual has been subjected to mistreatment and abuse in a foreign country. Frequently, the mistreatment is associated with a political, religious, ethnic, or gender factor. At some point, the individual flees and makes his or her way to the United States, and files a political asylum claim. In his or her native country, it is very common that the individual has developed psychological problems as a result of the abuse; depressive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are common. Sometimes, the disorder interferes with the ability to file a claim for asylum within the required one-year period. In those cases, it is necessary to make an assessment whether the psychological problems experienced by the individual interfered with the filing of a timely political asylum claim. In political asylum cases, it is also helpful to assess whether an individual continues to suffer from psychological symptoms after their arrival in the United States. This helps to gauge how profound the trauma was in the country of origin and how long standing the psychological ramifications.
In spousal abuse cases, a woman or a man from a foreign country marries a citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States. After the marriage, the United States citizen or legal permanent resident then abuses his or her spouse. The abuse can take the form of verbal, physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment. It is important in spousal abuse cases to assess the quality of the abuse as well as the frequency, and to evaluate the impact that the abuse has had on the individual.
A U Visa gives legal status to immigrants, even undocumented immigrants, who have been victims of serious crimes in the United States and meet certain other requirements. With a U Visa, the immigrant may stay and work in the United States for up to four years. After three years, however, a victim with a U visa may apply for a green card.
Victims of crimes, including sexual abuse, domestic violence, involuntary servitude, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and rape, must have suffered serious physical, mental, or emotional abuse and have information that may help law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting the perpetrators.
Depending on the situation, the victim's family members might also be able to get a U Visa. A number of certifications and forms are involved, so contact an experienced immigration lawyer to assist with your U Visa petition.
The Forensic Psychology Group provides nationwide expert service. Contact Dr. Stephen Reich at 800-852-2160 to discuss your expert needs and timeline.
Evaluations at ICE Detention Centers and Correctional Facilities
The doctors of the Forensic Psychology Group are available to perform psychological evaluations and criminal psychological assessments at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers and correctional facilities.