How to Apply for Asylum in the USA

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Tens of thousands of people every day have crossed the border, through Mexico, turning themselves in to the United States border authorities claiming asylum, a status that gives them protection and the right to remain in the country, according to the High Commissioner for United Nations for Refugees (UNHCR).

Unprecedented Demand for Asylum in the US

The United States faces unprecedented demand with nearly 1.6 million asylum applications pending in immigration courts and with the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the largest number ever recorded, according to analysis of federal data by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, according to CNN. The burden on US immigration courts Unidos is strong and faces a seven-fold backlog from fiscal year 2012, when there were 100,000 pending cases. By the end of fiscal year 2022, the backlog had grown to more than 750,000, according to the clearinghouse.

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a form of protection that allows an individual to remain in the United States instead of being removed (deported) to a country where they fear persecution or harm. Under US law, people who flee their countries because they fear persecution can apply for asylum. Asylum offers protection to people who are already in the US and fear returning to their home country because they suffered or believe they may suffer persecution. If you are eligible, you must carry out a process in the country, in which you can finally be granted residency.

Where are Asylum Seekers From?

Asylum seekers come from 219 different countries and speak 418 different languages, according to the Syracuse group. It is estimated that three out of 10 are under 18 years of age and the main countries of origin are Guatemala, Venezuela, Cuba and Brazil. Florida and Massachusetts are among the states with the highest increase in asylum applications, mentions CNN.

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Changes in US Asylum Policy

Since May 11, 2023, when Title 42 ended and there were changes in policy law, the United States government indicated that it will presume that people who enter the United States illegally through its southwest land border or adjacent coastal borders are not eligible for asylum, unless they can show an exception to the rule or rebut the presumption. Unaccompanied minors will be exempt from this presumption.

How to Apply for Asylum in the United States

Migrants who want to request asylum at the US-Mexico border. US citizens must make an appointment through the CBP One mobile app to appear at a point of entry and begin the process. Here’s what you need to do:
– Request and schedule an appointment through the CBP One mobile app. Once you sign up for the app and submit your request, you’ll receive a notification to confirm your appointment. You have 23 hours to confirm it.
– Take into account that those interested in applying for asylum have to be physically in central or northern Mexico to schedule the appointment in the application.
– Once the appointment is scheduled, applicants must appear at one of the points of entry from the USA.

Requirements to Apply for Asylum in the United States

According to the USA Gov page, of the federal government, the requirements to apply for asylum in the United States include:
– Being physically in the United States.
– Demonstrating that in your country of origin, you suffered or believe you may suffer persecution due to: your race, your religion, your nationality, your association with a social group, your political ideology.

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Benefits of US Asylum

If you are granted asylum, you can:
– Bring your family to the US.
– Look for a job in the US.
– Apply for permanent residence (“Green Card” or green card).
You can ask to bring your spouse and children to the United States by filing Form I-730, Petition for Refugee/Asylee Relative. To include your child in your application, your child must be under the age of 21 and unmarried. The application must be filed within two years from the date you were granted asylum, unless there are humanitarian reasons that exempt from meeting that deadline. You do not have to pay a fee to file the petition.

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