Complexities of Seeking Refugee Status in the United States

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Through the first half of 2018, the United States is on track to accept the fewest number of refugees in 40 years. This statistic represents both a recent change in the public’s attitude toward refugees and changes to actual policies. Both are driving down the number of refugees arriving in the United States, even as the number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide continues to climb.

The decreasing number of refugees to the United States is a quantifiable representation of the difficulties foreign nationals faces to secure refugee status. How complicated is it for someone seeking refugee status in the United States to succeed and what can a Los Angeles immigration lawyer do to make this route to immigration possible?

Who Is a Refugee?

We should probably take a step backward and clearly define what is meant by the term “refugee.” The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says that a refugee is any person that was persecuted or fears persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, or membership to a political group. The formal definition of “refugee” is found in the Immigration and Nationality Act, passed by Congress in 1965.

Practically speaking, this definition usually applies to individuals impacted by war, famine, or political unrest in their home country, and more importantly because of these events at home they are unable to return home.

The United States, along with most other countries around the world, accepts refugees as a form of humanitarian aid. Individuals that are eligible as refugees, due to the above circumstances, are granted special protection in a foreign county, either for a limited period of time or as permanent residents. An individual becomes a refugee once displaced from his or her country of nationality, but it is possible to apply for refugee status while still at home.

Who Is Successful in Securing Refugee Status?

The United States imposes several eligibility and procedural requirements on a foreign national seeking refugee status. A Los Angeles immigration lawyer can help you navigate many of these hurdles or explain the likelihood that your case will qualify for review by the USCIS.

Most noticeably the United States has a strict cap on the number of refugees it accepts each year. In past years, this maximum number was 110,000. In 2018, the cap on refugees is less than half of the old allowances, with a maximum 45,000 refugees for this year. However, it is possible the United States will accept even fewer than 45,000 refugees in a given year, as the number of successful applications continues to decrease.

The United States also diversifies refugees admitted to the country based on their region of origin. This is exemplified by the five countries with the most refugees to the United States between 2001 and 2017. These countries are Iraq, Somalia, Bhutan, Iran, and Burma. Other countries with over 500 refugees to the United States in past years include Russia, Syria, Vietnam, Cuba, Liberia, Ukraine, Columbia, and Armenia.

Of course, these statistics are certain to change in 2018, as the United States will no longer accept refugees or any other immigrants from Somalia and Iran this year because of executive travel restrictions. As well, there are far fewer refugees from countries like Iraq and Sudan, with roughly 10 refugees admitted from Iraq each month of 2018 and a mere 8 per month from Sudan.

No matter where you come from, an application for refugee status is more likely to be successful with the assistance of an immigration lawyer.

Why Is the Process for Refugees Complex?

Today, there are more than 65 million refugees around the world. These individuals come from all parts of the globe and regions of the world. Their reasons for fleeing their home country are just as diverse and varied. Historically, the United States was a beacon of possibility for many of these refugees, but this reputation is eroding.

The reason the United States is a less likely haven for refugees isn’t just based on immigration policy, although that does play a big role. Many refugees only make it to a neighboring country, not to the other side of the world. For example, if you are facing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then finances and opportunities are more likely to place you in Kenya than the United States.

Ultimately, only 1% of all refugees will be formally resettled in another country, and this statistic applies to worldwide, not just to the United States. The sheer number of refugees versus those that are successful in their application for refugee status makes the process extremely difficult for most.

There is also a lack of information dispersed among refugee and potential refugee populations. Most forms and processes are only explained in English, or the national language of the country where the refugee is applying, rarely is English a refugee’s first language. Plus, simply learning the procedural and eligibility requirements is incredibly difficult. Los Angeles immigration lawyers are trying to ease these information and financial hurdles, but there are few cost-effective solutions.

How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help

Greco Neyland assists with applications for asylum, if a refugee has reached a United States border and requested asylum, and applications for refugee status from abroad. In fact, assisting with these paths to immigration is some of our most important work. To learn more about our asylum and refugee practices contact Greco Neyland at our Los Angeles office by calling

Complexities of Seeking Refugee Status in the United States

inne-rpage-seperator

Through the first half of 2018, the United States is on track to accept the fewest number of refugees in 40 years. This statistic represents both a recent change in the public’s attitude toward refugees and changes to actual policies. Both are driving down the number of refugees arriving in the United States, even as the number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide continues to climb.

The decreasing number of refugees to the United States is a quantifiable representation of the difficulties foreign nationals faces to secure refugee status. How complicated is it for someone seeking refugee status in the United States to succeed and what can a Los Angeles immigration lawyer do to make this route to immigration possible?

Who Is a Refugee?

We should probably take a step backward and clearly define what is meant by the term “refugee.” The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says that a refugee is any person that was persecuted or fears persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, or membership to a political group. The formal definition of “refugee” is found in the Immigration and Nationality Act, passed by Congress in 1965.

Practically speaking, this definition usually applies to individuals impacted by war, famine, or political unrest in their home country, and more importantly because of these events at home they are unable to return home.

The United States, along with most other countries around the world, accepts refugees as a form of humanitarian aid. Individuals that are eligible as refugees, due to the above circumstances, are granted special protection in a foreign county, either for a limited period of time or as permanent residents. An individual becomes a refugee once displaced from his or her country of nationality, but it is possible to apply for refugee status while still at home.

Who Is Successful in Securing Refugee Status?

The United States imposes several eligibility and procedural requirements on a foreign national seeking refugee status. A Los Angeles immigration lawyer can help you navigate many of these hurdles or explain the likelihood that your case will qualify for review by the USCIS.

Most noticeably the United States has a strict cap on the number of refugees it accepts each year. In past years, this maximum number was 110,000. In 2018, the cap on refugees is less than half of the old allowances, with a maximum 45,000 refugees for this year. However, it is possible the United States will accept even fewer than 45,000 refugees in a given year, as the number of successful applications continues to decrease.

The United States also diversifies refugees admitted to the country based on their region of origin. This is exemplified by the five countries with the most refugees to the United States between 2001 and 2017. These countries are Iraq, Somalia, Bhutan, Iran, and Burma. Other countries with over 500 refugees to the United States in past years include Russia, Syria, Vietnam, Cuba, Liberia, Ukraine, Columbia, and Armenia.

Of course, these statistics are certain to change in 2018, as the United States will no longer accept refugees or any other immigrants from Somalia and Iran this year because of executive travel restrictions. As well, there are far fewer refugees from countries like Iraq and Sudan, with roughly 10 refugees admitted from Iraq each month of 2018 and a mere 8 per month from Sudan.

No matter where you come from, an application for refugee status is more likely to be successful with the assistance of an immigration lawyer.

Why Is the Process for Refugees Complex?

Today, there are more than 65 million refugees around the world. These individuals come from all parts of the globe and regions of the world. Their reasons for fleeing their home country are just as diverse and varied. Historically, the United States was a beacon of possibility for many of these refugees, but this reputation is eroding.

The reason the United States is a less likely haven for refugees isn’t just based on immigration policy, although that does play a big role. Many refugees only make it to a neighboring country, not to the other side of the world. For example, if you are facing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then finances and opportunities are more likely to place you in Kenya than the United States.

Ultimately, only 1% of all refugees will be formally resettled in another country, and this statistic applies to worldwide, not just to the United States. The sheer number of refugees versus those that are successful in their application for refugee status makes the process extremely difficult for most.

There is also a lack of information dispersed among refugee and potential refugee populations. Most forms and processes are only explained in English, or the national language of the country where the refugee is applying, rarely is English a refugee’s first language. Plus, simply learning the procedural and eligibility requirements is incredibly difficult. Los Angeles immigration lawyers are trying to ease these information and financial hurdles, but there are few cost-effective solutions.

How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help

Greco Neyland assists with applications for asylum, if a refugee has reached a United States border and requested asylum, and applications for refugee status from abroad. In fact, assisting with these paths to immigration is some of our most important work. To learn more about our asylum and refugee practices contact Greco Neyland at our Los Angeles office by calling

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