If you, a loved one, or someone you know has suffered any sort of harm or persecution in a country of origin because of religion, race, political viewpoint, or membership in some particular social group, it is possible that you or that person may qualify to apply for asylum.  Asylum is a way that the United States, like many other countries around the world, protects new immigrants from dangers, harms, or persecutions that they may have suffered in their home countries.  Especially if you (or your loved one) have recently arrived and you think you may qualify for asylum, it is important to act quickly.  

It is necessary to apply for asylum within one year of arrival in the United States.  Also, an immigrant to the United States may apply for asylum either “defensively” or “affirmatively.”  Applying for asylum “affirmatively” means doing so while a person still has valid status in the U.S.  Doing so “defensively” is only possible if someone is in the process of being deported from the United States, and an immigrant therefore must apply for “defensive” application in immigration court.  Anyone looking to apply for asylum should get in touch with an attorney without delay.  Sometimes a person who qualifies for asylum can also qualify for a work permit while their asylum case is going on, until the U.S. government makes a final decision.

Lessons from the Past

What matters about this country cannot be put into simple slogans; it is a process, a way of doing things and dealing with people… a way of life. There are two major ways to communicate what this country is really about: to bring people here, or to send Americans abroad.

Bobby Kennedy

Address, Sixth Annual West Side Community Conference, Columbia University, New York City,, March 12, 1966

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