Q & A
What is asylum?
Asylum is a legal process that allows a person whose life is in danger to seek refuge in a safer country.
Who qualifies to apply for asylum?
Under U.S. law any person who reaches any U.S. border with a well-founded fear of persecution may apply for asylum. It is legal to seek asylum without crossing through a port of entry.
There are five categories for asylum: persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
How many people receive asylum?
Not many. The denial rate for asylum cases in the United States has been steadily climbing over the years. 71.6% of cases were denied in 2020, compared to 44.5% of cases denied in 2012. 2020 was the highest denial rate on record.
The United States has implemented a series of policies over the years to deter and prevent asylum seekers from seeking asylum. Starting with family detention centers and expedited removal proceedings called “rocket dockets” under the Obama Administration, increasing to Trump era policies such as MPP and Title 42 that physically prevent asylum seekers from entering the United States. All these policies still stand in 2022.
Many Americans do not know that the U.S. Immigration Courts are a part of the Department of Justice. Therefore they are a part of the Executive Branch, not the Judicial Branch like a typical court. All immigration judges report directly to the U.S. Attorney General, forcing them to be an extension of the law enforcement policies of each administration. This does not allow for checks and balances or impartial judges.
Most asylum seekers do not have attorneys and they are not appointed one by the court. Asylum seekers without legal representation have a 90% chance of losing their case.
What can I do?
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