People already in the US or at the border can seek asylum in the country if they meet the requirements of being a refugee.
As per INA § 101(a)(42), the term refugee means (A) any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, or (B) in such special circumstances as the President after appropriate consultation (as defined in section 207(e) of this Act) may specify, any person who is within the country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, within the country in which such person is habitually residing, and who is persecuted or who has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The term “refugee” does not include any person who ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. . . .
President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to deny asylum to people who arrive between ports of entry defies the Immigration and Nationality Act. He said, “We need people in our country, but they have to come in legally.” But his move is against the law that says anyone who arrives on US soil is eligible for asylum no matter how they reached or where they entered the country.
This move by the president has been opposed by several legal and other groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Council.
More about asylum in the U.S.:
The U.S. is legally bound to provide asylum to those seeking protection,
whether they seek it from abroad or from within the country, as long as
they qualify as refugees. Asylees are not only offered protection but
they may also be eligible for certain benefits, some of which are:
- they need not return to their home countries
- they can apply for and receive work authorization
- they can apply for and receive permission to travel abroad
- they can petition to bring their family members to the U.S.
An asylee may apply for a green card after one year, and on getting a green card can apply for citizenship after 4 years.
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Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the circumstances surrounding asylum in the United States. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a rejection of your application or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Call our law firm for a free consultation today at: (949) 478-4936.