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Those who fear persecution may seek asylum

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | Immigration

Many people come to the United States because political or other problems in their country make it hard to live there safely.

The good news is that United States law does not require a person to face outright military conflict before seeking asylum. They do not even have to have actually experienced persecution, although certainly that qualifies.

A reasonable fear of persecution is enough to seek asylum if the persecution, or feared persecution, is for the following reasons:

  • Religion
  • Race
  • Political ideas
  • Social affiliation
  • Nationality

The persecution does not have to be at the hands of the government itself. The United States recognizes that many governments are unable or unwilling to stop persecution at the hands of powerful other groups or factions within their borders.

There are two basic types of asylum applications.  In an affirmative application, a person is not facing deportation in Immigration Court.

The benefit of an affirmative application is that a person can later ask for asylum again before an immigration judge if they are not able to convince an immigration official that they qualify.

As the name suggests, in a defensive application, a person asks for asylum for the first time in front of an immigration judge after they are already facing deportation.

If a person is granted asylum, they may remain lawfully in the United States as a way of protecting them from persecution.

Seeking asylum can be a complicated affair

The country’s immigration rules and laws are complicated. Even if a person really is afraid of persecution in their home country, seeking asylum is not just a matter of one’s say-so. A non-citizen living in Miami will have to prove their case.

Also, there are other eligibility requirements and rules regarding asylum. Just to give a couple of examples, people who have already left their home country to live long-term in another country cannot then come to the United States seeking asylum.

Some with certain criminal histories may also be ineligible.

A person living in South Florida and who feels like returning to their country of origin would mean persecution should make sure they understand their legal options and know how to exercise their rights.