Asylum is very different than traditional immigration. One of the biggest differences is that those who are seeking asylum are typically already within the United States. They’ve come here seeking some element of protection, and they are merely asking for permission to stay within the country.
Immigration, on the other hand, is the process of entering the country in a legal fashion. Someone gets a work visa first and then comes to the United States to take the job, for example. But since asylum is based around physical protection from danger, these individuals often enter the country first and then claim asylum to show that they should not be deported or removed.
The baseline requirement for asylum is that the individual in question has suffered persecution. They may also fear that they will suffer persecution in the future. They have this fear because they are part of a specific group, such as a:
- Political group
- Social group
Essentially, they have to claim that people who align with their views or their group membership are being persecuted in their home country. They may have suffered violence themselves or even lost family members. They felt worried that this was going to happen to them in the future, so they left the country to escape the persecution and they came to the United States.
This is so important to show because it proves that asylum is necessary. Someone who isn’t facing persecution or doesn’t fear it in the future would simply be accused of illegally entering the United States and they would likely then be deported. But deporting someone who is seeking asylum could directly put them in physical danger and they may even fear for their life, so they need to demonstrate why this would be the case.
If you’re interested in seeking asylum and the system seems complicated, but you know how much is on the line, it’s very important to consider all of your legal options.