– Yes, a child has a right to her or his own interview
– However, the Asylum Office has not typically conducted these interviews, and as of November 2014, Asylum Office was declining to interview children, who were present with their mothers.
– By December, 2014, the Asylum Office began to grant credible fear interviews to children who asked (or whose lawyers asked) for them and granted them.
– Then the Asylum Office starting conducting credible fear interviews for certain children, whether or not the children or parents or their lawyers had asked for those interviews (and often without notifying lawyers even when ICE had G-28s for those lawyers)
– The Asylum Office’s practice of interviewing children for credible fear, even without specific requests from the families or lawyers, came during a particularly bad, bad moment. A number of mother were enKARNESerated (or in Dilley, or Berks, and some of those had first been locked up in Artesia) in reinstatement proceedings, and thus in a withholding-only posture. Children cannot derive any benefit from a grant of “withholding” only to their parents, if they do not also have their own individual claims. Moreover, judges believed that the could not release mothers in withholding-only proceedings, and some of the children were thus trapped. By December of 2014, some of the families had been locked up for six months.
– So….yes, children may have their own credible fear interviews, even where the fear is based on experiences the mother had, or threats to the mother that the children did not directly hear or otherwise witness. Asylum officers have made positive credible fear findings for children when the children only knew about threats (or vaguely, bad experiences of their mothers).
– The children may belong to the particular social group of the mother’s family.
– Not aware of any numbers on how many children have been interviewed. Does anyone know? We should ask for these numbers.
– I only know about credible fear interviews. Not sure if any children have had reasonable fear interviews.
See Elian Gonzalez v. Janet Reno, 212 F.3d 1338 (11th Cir.2000); Gonzalez v. Reno, 215 F.3d 1243 (11th Cir. en banc 2000)