The Trump Administration’s attempts to pass an “immigration
ban” executive order have put much of the nation’s attention
on its borders and the people wanting to cross them. One focus of the
executive order was restricting or otherwise banning refugees from certain
countries and preventing asylum status to be granted to others. What exactly
is asylum and refugee status, though? Are there any measurable differences?
Both asylum status and refugee status are meant to grant someone entrance
into the United States when returning to their own home country would
likely put them in peril. The key difference between asylum and refugee
statuses is really only where the individual applies for the status. Someone
who is giving asylum has already entered the U.S. or is situated at an
international border, and a refugee is anywhere else when filing.
Who Can Get Asylum or Refugee Status?
The United States will not provide asylum or refugee status to just anyone
who leaves their country in fear of their safety. This may be especially
true with recent crackdowns from the Trump Administration. To be granted
either of these statuses, an individual must have already been persecuted
in their home country and have good reason to believe persecution will
happen again if they return. Furthermore, the persecution that occurred
must have been based on their race, religion, nationality, social status,
or political alignment.
Persecution is not a word most people would normally use in day-to-day
context, but it shows up frequently in the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations and paperwork regarding asylum
and refugee statuses. Despite its regular use by the USCIS, though, the
definition is left somewhat vague.
Through established case law and USCIS procedures, it can be said that
prosecution occurs if:
- Genocide was attempted by a controlling party
- Firearms were discharged at protestors
- Imprisonment occurred without reason or trial
- Religious members were excluded from political decisions
- Threats of violence or aggression generally pervaded
Legal Counsel to Guide You Through This Trying Time
Applying for asylum or refugee status will likely be more difficult than
ever due to the uncertain future of the United States’ immigration
laws. If you need to get away from a home country that is not safe for
you or your family, let Ashley Foret Dees, LLC and our Lake Charles immigration
attorneys help you file for the right status. We genuinely want to see
your family safe and sound again.
Contact our law firm at any time for the compassionate and knowledgeable legal advocacy you need.