Refuge or Asylum |
We live in a troubled world where violence seems to be the common denominator to express the racial, religious or political differences of peoples. The social disruption generated by the serious conflicts in numerous countries of the "Third World", originates waves of human beings who flee from their environment to seek better horizons.
As the report of the High Commissioner for the United Nations (UNHCR) shows, it is estimated that by 2015 there were more than 65,3 million refugees in the world, with the aggravating circumstance that more than 51% are children. As Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, recently put it, “We are facing the greatest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. And, above all, this is not just a crisis of numbers; it is also a crisis of solidarity.”
The US has a refugee relocation program that during the last few years reached up to 70,000 people per year but which, recently and to sublimate the humanitarian crisis affecting Europe and the Middle East, increased to 85,000 refugees in 2016 and 110,000 for 2017.
Developing countries host 86% of the world's refugees under UNHCR protection. During 2015, the US settled 69,933 refugees and granted asylum to 26,124 people.
Differences between Refuge and Asylum.
Refugee status and asylee status are used interchangeably in immigration law because both refugees and asylees are people subject to persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political affiliation, or membership in a particular social group. The essential difference between the two figures derives from the geographical location of the applicant at the time of requesting the humanitarian benefit, that is, if the applicant is abroad, he will receive refugee status and if he is in US territory. , will ask for asylum.
To qualify for the condition of refugee The applicant must fill out and submit the application form. US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)) and undergo an interview with an immigration officer at the relevant US embassy. The USCIS officer before granting eligibility will determine if the applicant meets the following requirements:
1. Live outside of the US
2. Your case is of special humanitarian concern to the US.
3. It is shown that the candidate fears persecution by virtue of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group.
4. You have not received refuge in another country.
To qualify for the condition of asylee The applicant must fill out the “Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal” and present it at an office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)) within one year of arrival in the United States.
In both refugee and asylum cases, the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may be included in the application along with the petitioner.
While refugees are authorized to work from the moment they enter the US, asylees must wait for official approval from the asylum to apply for a job. However, an asylum seeker may apply for employment authorization if more than 150 days have elapsed since he filed his completed asylum application and no decision has been made on his application.
From Shelter to Green Card
Refugees are required to apply for permanent residence (Green Card) after one year of permanence in the North American territory. This obligation of the refugee does not necessarily imply that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) cannot use its broad discretionary power to deny the request.
The government aspires that the refugees integrate culturally into North American society and, consequently, provides them with all the means at their disposal for their successful resettlement in the national territory. There are few cases in which the refugee status is revoked and they usually refer to situations in which the applicant has provided fraudulent information.
Asylees, for their part, are not required at any time to apply for permanent residence, but they may apply for a Green Card after one year from the date the asylum status is granted. In these cases, it is important to take into account that the asylum status can be lost if the conditions that prevailed for granting the status have changed and the danger of persecution has ceased.
It is unlikely that a refugee will lose their status because conditions in their original country have improved and it could be that there is now a new government, a peace treaty has been signed or an amnesty law has been passed. However, the legal treatment given to the asylee could be different.
In view of the fact that a new administration has taken over the country, I allow myself to remind people who feel persecuted for the humanitarian reasons stipulated by the immigration law, to proceed to substantiate their request for refuge at the nearest US embassy. or asylum before the USCIS authorities, if they are in US territory.
And do not forget the famous saying, very Latin American by the way, that warns that "the tiger eats lightly..."

Author: Alfredo Gonzalez I

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