- Who can get political asylum in the US
- Only five reasons can provide the status of refugee in the US
- Three necessary conditions for getting asylum in the USA
- Two mandatory factors for getting asylum in the USA
- What is considered a persecution
- What cannot be a reason for political asylum
- What we want to say in conclusion
Political asylum is a special legal status granted to a person on the basis of strong proving of a violation of his rights and freedoms, or of persecution on the territory of his country. And the signs on which it is pursued, from the point of view of norms of international law cannot be considered as a crime or an offense.
The concept of “political asylum” is a composite, and includes not only political persecution, but also religious, nationality, politics, membership of certain social groups (sexual minorities, for example) or groups that are persecuted in the country with which you left and the state cannot provide protection from persecution.
The United States of America is ready to grant political asylum to natives of other countries if they have strong evidence that for one reason or another they are afraid to return to their homeland. The most common of these reasons is the persecution of such citizens and the violation of their rights in the country of residence.
This is due to the fact that the United States of America – is one of the few countries where citizens are in first place, whose opinions are taken into account, and freedom and the right to choose are valued above all else.
Before deciding to apply for political asylum in the US, refugees should understand that the return journey to their homeland, once they have received this status, will be unavailable. More precisely, after visiting your homeland, the status of a political refugee will surely be taken away from you.
Who can get political asylum in the US
The main fallacy – often people think that political asylum in the US is given only to those who are persecuted for political views and protest actions.
This is not entirely true. Persecution for Political opinion and related actions is just one of the possible reasons for granting a person political asylum in the US. In addition to this reason, there are still a number of reasons why people persecuted at home can obtain political asylum in the USA or in some other country.
Only five reasons can provide the status of refugee in the US
As already mentioned, the granting of political asylum is regulated by the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees.
This document identifies five specific reasons for which prosecution may provide grounds for granting political asylum:
Let’s say you are more alive in a country whose inhabitants are very intolerant of other races. Very often there are fights, conflicts, mass beatings and destruction of property of representatives of certain races. During such incidents, representatives of your race were seriously injured or even killed. You have also been attacked by radical groups or individuals and are reasonably afraid for your life, the life of your family.
Here it is necessary to prove belonging to a particular religion, to prove that representatives of this religious movement regularly face threats to life and health, and also to prove that such cases happened to you or to justify the fear of such possibility in the future. Perhaps you are faced with systematic violations of basic human rights and freedoms on the part of the state precisely because of your religious affiliation. Then this too can be the basis for obtaining political asylum in the United States.
Let’s say you have a nationality, whose representatives often face humiliation, insults, threats from the state, police, factions or persons whom the state cannot control. In the late 80’s, early 90’s massively political asylum received Jews, because they were subjected to massive persecution in the territory of the USSR.
- Political beliefs
You have been threatened and physically abused because of belonging to a political party, group, movement, or for your actions, thoughts, statements that are of a political nature. If you just came to the rally and during a dispute with your opponents fought with one of them, then this is unlikely to be the basis for obtaining asylum. This may be an additional factor that will support the story, but not the main point when applying for a petition.
- Belonging to a particular social group
As a rule, representatives of LGBT communities fall into this category who have faced threats to life and health and can argue their fears of returning to the country from where they came. It’s not enough just to say that you are gay or lesbian. It is necessary to prove the causal relationship between this fact, the fact of threats, the infliction of physical injuries and the fear of returning to their country.
It is most important . If a person is persecuted for any reason other than these, he will not receive political asylum in the United States.
Three necessary conditions for getting asylum in the USA
Political asylum in the United States can be granted if three basic conditions are met:
- A person, for one of the five above-mentioned reasons, is persecuted by the state, that is, by its official organizations, or by people whom the authorities are unable or unwilling to control.
- The persecuted person is reasonably afraid to return to his homeland .
- A person cannot escape persecution by moving within the country.
Two mandatory factors for getting asylum in the USA
Political asylum in the United States can be granted with the simultaneous presence of two factors – subjective and objective.
Subjective is a person’s personal opinion, his experiences, fears, a story about what happened to him and the like.
Objective – these are documents, protocols, certificates, newspaper publications, evidence, precedents and so on.
That is, a person must subjectively experience fears of returning, reinforcing these fears with objective evidence.
If a person is not afraid of persecution in the event of return to his country, although there is evidence that there are persecutions, he will not receive political asylum in the United States. He also will not receive political asylum if he is afraid of persecution, but has not proved their reality.
The burden of proof lies with the applicant.
What is considered a persecution
There is no clear definition of the amount and nature of the harm that a person must incur so that this harm is unequivocally called persecution. The same act in different circumstances and applied to different people can cause them different harm or cause different suffering, so each case is dealt with separately.
It is necessary to distinguish between the persecutions experienced in the past and the fear of future persecution.
It is believed that a person who has been harassed earlier, has sufficient grounds to reasonably fear persecution in the future if he finds himself in a similar situation, and therefore should not additionally prove the seriousness of his fears. Also, any reasonable person will be afraid of something if it happened to someone else under the same circumstances.
In practice, past persecutions become serious, but not the only proof of fears of persecution in the future – it is still necessary to show the fear of the return to their country.
What cannot be a reason for political asylum
Bad economic or difficult political situation is not a baseline for political asylum.
The fall of the country’s economy, disagreement with the foreign or domestic policy of the state, some personal dislike of the leaders, which do not allow you to feel free and calm, will not be considered as a reason. Therefore, if you say that the currency in your country is falling and it is difficult to open a business in the country – then these are all personal problems not related to the possibility of providing protection from the United States of America
War and military conflicts
War and military conflicts, too, cannot be as a reason for granting asylum. But do not be confused if the argumentation is from the category “There is a war, I’m scared, I left,” then this is not enough. If you say: “I was a member of the party, an active person, and in the region, there has been a change of power, which is now holding massive persecutions towards members of these organizations,” this will be a strong argument. The fact of war is not the reason. The resulting problems associated with threats or violence against a certain circle of people are the strong reason.
The desire to improve economic situation
If you say that everything is bad in the country, the economy is falling, it is difficult to open own business, you cannot find a job and the state cannot solve your problems, this will not be sufficient grounds for obtaining asylum in the US. But if you build a case in such way that you are a businessman, but at the same time the police, tax or other services put you in every possible way “sticking in the wheels”, threatening and forcing to close the business, this can be taken as reason for building a future case-history. The argument is very slippery, but it has the right to be.
What we want to say in conclusion
Political asylum in the United States can be obtained by a person who is on the territory of the United States who has been or is reasonably apprehensive if he returns to his homeland to be persecuted by the state or uncontrollable people for five reasons specified in the UN Convention, unable to avoid the prosecution of relocation to another part of his country, subjective experiences and fears of which are backed by material evidence.
Political asylum in the United States cannot be obtained by a person who himself participated in the persecution of someone for any of these five main reasons.
If you have any question or you wanted to share your experience — write a comment below.