The United States has recently seen a surge in asylum seekers, with over 10,000 migrants attempting to enter the country daily.  This influx has led to misconceptions and frustrations among immigrants already in the U.S. or those in the process of applying for status. News outlets and politicians have recently used the influx of migrants seeking asylum status to further their own interests. Let’s address and dispel some common myths about asylum seekers and the asylum process.

Understanding Asylum Law History

U.S. asylum law is rooted in international agreements established after World War II to protect individuals fearing or fleeing persecution. The first significant agreement was drafted by the United Nations in 1951 in response to the Holocaust. For over 70 years, U.S. law has provided protection to those fearing persecution, preventing their return to countries where they face harm.

Myth 1: Asylum Seekers Have an Easy Path to Status

Truth: Claiming asylum is far from easy. The process is lengthy and complex, often taking years. Asylum law is one of the most challenging areas of immigration law. Many asylum applicants are denied and ultimately deported after investing significant time and resources in their cases.

At The Logan Firm we assist asylum clients with navigating the complex process of asylum law and do our best to ensure that each client has a fair hearing and has their claim heard. Ultimately, the decision rests in the hands of the asylum officer or immigration judge who will apply a stringent set of laws to the claim.

Myth 2: Asylum Seekers Use Asylum Claims to Circumvent Immigration Law

Truth: Asylum seekers are often making a difficult choice to flee their home countries due to threats to their lives. The vast majority of asylum seekers are not trying to scam the system but are genuinely seeking safety. Misleading narratives from some politicians and media outlets do not reflect the reality of these individuals’ situations.

Myth 3: Asylum Seekers Receive Benefits More Easily Than Others

Truth: Asylum seekers can apply for a work permit 150 days after filing their asylum application. However, this timeline can be extended for various reasons, such as requests for continuances in their hearings. The process is not as straightforward or quick as it may seem.

Myth 4: Asylum Seekers Are Dangerous Criminals

Truth: Asylum seekers undergo rigorous background and security screenings before their claims proceed. Research consistently shows that immigration is linked to decreases in violent and property crime. Areas with large immigrant populations often see lower crime rates. The Cato Institute found that only four asylum seekers out of 700,522 admitted from 1975 to 2015 were later identified as terrorists, making the likelihood of an asylum seeker committing a large-scale attack extremely low.

Myth 5: President Biden’s Expedited Asylum Rule Unfairly Benefits Asylum Seekers

Truth: President Biden’s expedited adjudication rule aims to reduce the number of asylum claims by quickly processing and sending back applicants with denied claims. This approach seeks to curb frivolous applications. The expedited process does not delay other types of immigration cases, which are handled by different USCIS offices and trained asylum officers.

By addressing these myths, we hope to provide a clearer understanding of the asylum process and the challenges faced by asylum seekers. Our immigration system is complex, and it’s crucial to approach it with compassion and factual knowledge.  We encourage our clients to be cautious when viewing depictions of asylum seekers on social media or news outlets that have a political interest.   We truly believe that immigration is an act of bravery and immigrants make America great.