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The asylum process

People from other countries can apply for asylum in the U.S. when facing or fearing persecution in their own countries. This persecution might occur because of religion, race, political opinion, nationality or membership in a given social group. Once they are approved, they could live in Arizona or any other state.

Between 2013 and 2015, around 25,000 people were granted asylum each year. Those of any immigration status can seek either of two kinds of asylum. For affirmative asylum, one must typically apply within a year of the last time he or she arrived in the country. However, one can apply later if an exceptional change in circumstance occurs. Defensive asylum occurs when fighting an order of deportation. More people are approved through affirmative asylum than defensive asylum.

When entering the U.S. to apply for asylum, people are usually detained while waiting for their case to be evaluated. This means these immigrants could spend months in a detention center. Asylum officers and court judges must decide whether applicants have credible fears that prevent them from returning to their own country.

While not all cases pending in the justice system are asylum cases, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that there is a backlog of around 600,000 cases nationally. This may make it possible for asylum seekers to take advantage of an overworked system. The Trump administration seems to be adjudicating cases faster and approving people in percentages slightly less than before.

People from many countries across the globe apply for asylum, and the application is confidential. Receiving asylum is necessary for many people, but the process takes time and can be complicated. One may wish to consult an attorney when applying for asylum to make sure the application is accurate. Applicants may need assistance when completing the application or preparing for an interview related to asylum.

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