People at protest holding sign that says "Welcome Asylum Seekers".

Asylum

Many people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will be harmed if they return to their home country. Asylum is a form of protection our government may grant to someone fleeing their country because they fear they will be harmed based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This area of immigration law is very complicated but is essential to those fleeing their countries in search of safety.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) builds the capacity of immigration advocates to assist immigrants in their claims for asylum in order to provide more immigrants with a meaningful chance at justice. As experts in the field, the ILRC publishes The Essentials of Asylum Law, a manual which provides a thorough review of asylum law with practice tips. In addition, the ILRC hosts several webinars on asylum law and emerging issues. We also support practitioners in their specific cases through our Attorney of the Day (AOD) technical assistance service.

Latest Resources

Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
09/28/2022
This practice advisory outlines the requirements and process of enrolling in Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the first time.  It provides an overview of the basic requirements for TPS and identifies red flag issues that require careful analysis. It provides guidance on the TPS application process, including preparing a waiver of inadmissibility. It also offers practical guidance about when to file in immigration court and when an eligible individual may qualify for late initial registration.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
06/29/2022
Filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is a crucial step for many noncitizens facing removal because it is the last opportunity to obtain a favorable decision from the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Often, reviewing the immigration judge’s decision for errors is a daunting task. It can be difficult to separate identifying issues to appeal, from the overwhelming sense of injustice that can result from a negative decision. This advisory will focus on reviewing decisions by Immigration Judges (IJs) and identifying issues to raise on appeal to the BIA. The goal is to equip practitioners with a framework to look for errors where the IJ has denied relief or otherwise ordered removal.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
06/28/2022
Clients with mental illness have needs and vulnerabilities that present unique challenges in immigration proceedings. This practice advisory provides an overview on advocating for clients with mental health issues, specifically focusing on representation in the detained setting. The advisory discusses legal authority that an immigration practitioner can utilize to protect a client’s due process rights and ensure their client’s agency is respected and they have a meaningful opportunity to present their case.
FAQs & Explainers
Resources
Publication Date
03/16/2022
Two immigration statuses that may overlap are Asylum and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) because they both help people who are afraid of returning to their home country. While these two are different in a few ways, it is useful to know what each option offers and that applying for both is allowed, so long as an applicant is eligible. This brief guide delves into the ways these two options might intersect and what to keep in mind as individuals consider each type of status.
Public Comments / Sign-on Letters
Resources
Publication Date
10/19/2021
On October 19, 2021, the ILRC submitted comments raising concerns about USCIS’ proposed regulation changing the procedures for credible fear screenings and asylum. While the proposed regulation contains some provisions that would improve the current system, it also poses a significant risk to asylum seekers’ right to a full, fair and consistent hearing of their claims.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
08/26/2021
Mortality from COVID-19 meant that many immigrant families grieved over lost family members, and simultaneously were faced with the loss of an immigration benefit that may have depended on the deceased relative. This practice advisory will explore the options that may remain for a surviving relative who has lost someone to COVID-19 where an immigration benefit was also involved. The three possible remedies are: Survivor benefits for widow(er)s of U.S. citizens (USCs) under INA § 201(b)(2)(A)(i); other benefits for certain surviving relatives under INA § 204(l); and humanitarian reinstatement of an approved I-130 petition.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
07/21/2021
The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (LRIF) created a limited-term program allowing many Liberians living in the United States to apply for permanent residence. Initially, LRIF’s application period opened on December 20, 2019 and was set to expire on December 20, 2020. On January 3, 2021, however, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, extending the application period for LRIF for another year, until December 20, 2021.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
06/24/2021
Children and youth compose a significant portion of the U.S. immigrant population and often qualify for various forms of immigration relief, many of which involve an application filing fee. Under the Trump administration, USCIS promulgated a final rule intended to dramatically raise fees for many immigration application forms, including those available to young people, and would have limited access to fee waivers. The rule was blocked by federal courts, and after President Biden took office, the Department of Justice decided not to defend the rule, so it never took effect and for now immigration filing fees remain at the previously set amounts. This advisory reviews some of the main forms of immigration relief available to children and youth and the current fees for each, and summarizes the litigation and related efforts that ultimately defeated the Trump fee rule.