What is asylum?
Asylum is a protective status that allows people who are in the United States to remain in the country legally because they would be at risk of serious harm, or have a well-founded fear of persecution, if they had to return to their home country. There are two types of asylum applicants can apply for: Affirmative Asylum, which is filed through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Defensive Asylum, which is filed by applicants who have been placed in removal (deportation) proceedings by the government in Immigration Court.
Who is eligible?
A person may be eligible for asylum if he or she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Persecution can include, but is not limited to, the infliction of harm or suffering by a government or persons a government is unwilling or unable to control. Serious violations of human rights amount to persecution. Persecution may also include severe economic deprivation that threatens an individual’s life or freedom. Cumulative incidents of threats, discrimination, or harassment may also rise to the level of persecution.