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Who can claim asylum?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Immigration & Naturalization

People come to the United States in many different ways, one of which is through the use of asylum. The person is seeking safety in the United States. They’re not just coming here with a work visa or a tourist visa. They have a very serious reason to try to get across the border, and they need the protection the U.S. can provide.

So who can use this system? Generally, asylum is used for those who have a genuine fear of persecution at home. They may be worried about bodily harm or even death. They also have to demonstrate that they are facing persecution for a recognized reason, such as their political opinion, their social group, their nationality, their religion or their race.

For example, someone could live in a country where there is a Civil War between two ethnic groups. They may seek asylum in the United States, and deporting them back to the country where they were born would put them in grave danger since their ethnic group is being persecuted by the other group. Asylum offers them protection. 

Is this the same as refugee status?

No, there are some differences between asylum and refugee status. For example, refugees will typically escape persecution and live in refugee camps overseas, perhaps for years, until they are given the proper permissions to come to the United States. If someone is seeking asylum, on the other hand, they have to do it at a port of entry or once they are already in the U.S.

If you’re considering your options, it’s very important that you know exactly what legal steps to take on behalf of you and your family, and experienced legal guidance may be helpful.