On February 2, President Biden continued his executive action on immigration by signing three new executive orders, including one that addresses processing and eligibility criteria for those seeking asylum in the United States.. The order is part of what the Biden administration describes as a more compassionate and humane approach to the immigration system. It is important to understand the implications this order may have if you or a family member is seeking asylum to remain lawfully in the United States.
In large part, the president’s new executive order deals with the processing of asylum seekers at the Mexican border. The order provides for the review, termination, or revocation of several executive actions and policies instituted by the Trump administration. Perhaps most notably, it includes a direction to review and stop enrollment in the Migrant Protections Protocols program, which requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their case is processed. The order also states that health and safety concerns, including those related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, should be considered when processing asylum claims.
Additionally, the order directs that within the next year, there will be a comprehensive review of regulations regarding cases in which a person is seeking asylum to escape domestic or gang violence, as well as cases in which a person is seeking asylum to escape persecution related to their membership in a particular social group.
The executive order may bring substantial changes to how asylum cases are handled and increase access to the benefits of asylum, but in many ways, the process of seeking asylum remains the same. If you are currently in the United States and you are seeking protection from persecution related to your race, nationality, religion, political views, or social group membership, you can file an application for asylum during the first year after your arrival in the U.S.
It is also possible to apply for asylum for your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 if they are currently in the U.S., or to petition to bring them to the U.S. within two years of the date upon which you are granted asylum. Those who have been granted asylum also have the ability to apply for work authorization and lawful permanent residency.
If you have questions about the asylum seeking process or how the new executive order may affect you or your family, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. For a free consultation with an experienced Illinois immigration attorney, contact us today at 630-473-9685.
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