Home Domestic


Important changes In Asylum Refugee Status

Important changes In Asylum Refugee Status

Important Changes in Asylum Refugee Status

Asylum and refugee status are two forms of humanitarian protection offered to individuals who are fleeing persecution, conflict, or violence in their home countries. Both provide temporary or permanent legal status to those who qualify, enabling them to live and work safely in the host country. Over the years, various changes have been made to the laws and policies governing asylum and refugee status, which have impacted the eligibility criteria and benefits available to recipients. In this article, we will examine some of the most important changes that have occurred in asylum and refugee status in recent years and their implications.

What is the Difference Between Asylum and Refugee Status?

Before discussing the changes in asylum and refugee status, it is essential to understand the difference between the two. Asylum is a form of protection granted to individuals who are already in the host country and meet the definition of a refugee. They must establish that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. If their application is approved, they are given legal permission to stay in the host country and may be granted work authorization, a Social Security number, and other benefits.

On the other hand, refugees are individuals who are outside their home country and are unable or unwilling to return due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on the same five factors mentioned above. They are often referred to as “quota refugees” because they are often ed for resettlement based on quotas set by the host country. If their application is approved, they are granted refugee status and may be provided with resettlement assistance, including housing, food, and healthcare. They may also be given permission to work and travel.

Changes in Eligibility Criteria for Asylum and Refugee Status

One of the most significant changes in asylum and refugee status eligibility criteria occurred in recent years, specifically in 2019. The Trump administration issued a new rule that required asylum seekers to first apply for and be denied asylum in another country they passed through on their way to the United States. For example, a person traveling from Guatemala to the United States would have to apply for asylum in Mexico first and be denied before applying in the United States. This rule, known as the “Third Country Rule,” was later struck down by the courts, but it had an impact on the number of asylum seekers being granted protection.

Another change was made under the Biden administration in 2021, which lifted the Trump-era restrictions on refugee admissions to the United States. Specifically, the new administration announced that it would increase the refugee admissions cap from 15,000 to 62,500 for the fiscal year 2021. This means that many more individuals will be able to apply for and be granted refugee status.

Changes to Benefits Available to Asylum and Refugee Status Recipients

The benefits available to asylum and refugee status recipients have also seen important changes in recent years. One notable change occurred in 2019 when the Trump administration issued a new rule that denied work authorization to asylum seekers who entered or attempted to enter the United States illegally. Before this rule, asylum seekers were eligible for work authorization after waiting at least 180 days for a decision on their asylum claim. The rule was challenged and struck down by the courts, but it had an impact on the ability of asylum seekers to support themselves while waiting for their claims to be processed.

In addition, the Biden administration announced in 2021 that it would expand the eligibility criteria for asylum seekers to receive employment authorization. Specifically, the new guidance indicated that asylum officers would exercise their discretion to grant employment authorization to all asylum seekers who are not swiftly rejected under the “”expedited removal”” process. This change will provide much-needed support to those asylum seekers who may have to wait years for a decision on their claim.

Changes to the Processing of Asylum and Refugee Status Claims

Finally, the processing of asylum and refugee status claims has seen its share of changes in recent years, with some of the most notable occurring during the Trump presidency. One of the most significant changes was the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims were adjudicated. This policy was aimed at reducing the number of asylum seekers entering the United States illegally, but it had serious implications for the safety of those waiting in Mexico, as they often faced violence and other forms of persecution.

Another change made during the Trump administration was the establishment of the “”Asylum Cooperation Agreements”” with several Central American countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. These agreements required asylum seekers traveling through these countries to first apply for asylum there before being considered for asylum in the United States. However, the agreements faced legal challenges and were later rescinded by the Biden administration.


In conclusion, important changes have occurred in asylum and refugee status in recent years, particularly under the Trump and Biden administrations. Some of the most significant changes have impacted the eligibility criteria, benefits available, and processing of asylum and refugee status claims. While some of these changes have been widely welcomed, others have faced challenges and legal battles. Regardless, the importance of providing humanitarian protection to those fleeing violence, persecution, and conflict remains a critical issue that requires continued attention and action.

Sometimes this unevenness of navigation through the passage of a bill can even happen with critical subjects like asylumrefugeeIndian Ocean tsunamirefugee lawwork visasUnfortunately, as much as this modification of asylum and refugee law eliminated restrictions on refugee services, at the same time, it unfortunately curtailed some civil liberties.

Some even went as far to label this change to asylum and refugee law unconstitutional for its apparent violation of the Tenth Amendment. Much controversy arose from full discovery of the inclusion of the REAL ID Act with the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. For one, this rider was added in a way that members of the Senate could not adequately analyze the effect the REAL ID Act would have; the 100-0 yea-nay record of the Senate’s vote may partially indicate the way in which it was swept through Congress.

Moreover, the vague language of this amendment to asylum and refugee law was actually seen as a hindrance to most asylum applicants. Refugee services processing, with the passage of the REAL ID Act, became yet stricter for asylum seekers as a whole, requiring proofs of identification and clearances that the applicant did not resemble a terrorist, both of which were now egregiously more subjective. Thus, while H.R. 1268 began as a positive step in the development of asylum and refugee law, come present day, the bill is actively sought to be repealed by some legislators.