What is Asylum?

What is Asylum?
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As many as 150 Central American migrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing near San Diego but were told the crossing was full, according to a news report by BBC News. 11 other individuals, who were believed to be members of the caravan, have been charged with illegal entry into the United States. The BBC reports the caravan began its trip in southern Mexico back in March and traveled 2,000 miles by bus, train, and foot to reach the border. At one point it had as many as 1,000 people. Many migrants claim they are fleeing their countries due to violence and persecution in their homeland. The United States has a legal duty to hear asylum claims; a majority of claimants seeking asylum from Central America lose their cases.

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a legal immigrant status protection

that is granted to those from a foreign country who are already in the United States — or at its border — who meet the international law definition of refugee. Typically, a refugee is an individual who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country due to actual persecution – or a well-founded fear of persecution — because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a specific social group or political opinion. Because of the actual or perceived persecution, these individuals cannot obtain protection from their homeland even if they are able to return.

The benefits for someone who is granted asylum include:

  • Protection from being returned back to his or her home country
  • The ability to legally work in the United States
  • The ability to apply for a social security card
  • Eligibility for government medical and/or monetary assistance
  • The ability to request permission from the U.S. government to travel overseas; and
  • The ability to petition to bring family members into America

r U.S. law, a person who is granted asylum may apply lawfully for permanent resident status — commonly referred to as a “green card” — after one year. Once the individual obtains his or her green card, he or she can apply for citizenship but must wait four years to do so.

Non-U.S. citizens who are found by, or present themselves to, a U.S. official near a border or at a port of entry are subject to expedited removal. This is an accelerated method which allows the Department of Homeland Security to perform rapid deportations of certain individuals. A screening process is available to asylum seekers undergoing expedited removal processes to ensure the U.S. does not violate any domestic or international laws by deporting individuals back to their country where their lives may be put at risk.

Asylum is a legal immigrant status protection that is granted to those from a foreign country who are already in the United States — or at its border — who meet the international law definition of refugee.

Asylum: A Lengthy Process

The asylum process may take several years to come to a conclusion. Indeed, a person who has applied for asylum may receive an interview or hearing date years after he or she initially applied. According to government records, there were more than 318,000 asylum application pending with the United States Customs & Immigration Services (USCIS) as of March, 2018. What is more, there are a reported more than 690,000 open deportation cases pending in U.S. immigration courts as of March, 2018 — an all-time high — with the average amount of time taken to resolve the matter at 718 days. On average, those who had an immigration case and were ultimately granted relief waited more than 1,000 days until relief was granted.

If you have any questions about our  nation’s immigration laws, contact the Central Florida immigration attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. We have years of experience representing individuals in their immigration matters and can help guide you through this confusing process. Click here today to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.

NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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