What is an asylum seeker?

“To be eligible for asylum status, an applicant must meet the definition of a refugee as outlined in the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol:

‘A person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality because of persecution… on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.’

For more information visit the American Immigration Council.

An asylum seeker is a person who files an asylum application and waits in limbo for a determination of their asylum status to be made.

These are people who fled in fear of their lives.

Major DFW asylum seeker nationalities include Ethiopia, Congo, Egypt, China, Pakistan, Central America, Burundi, and elsewhere from all around the word.

These were people who (for example) were journalists or political activists, speaking out about the corruption in their current governments, or people who were Christian pastors in countries where radical Islamists reign.

They often fled alone in secret, and find a way to get out of the country, however they could, for example, using a visitor visa, student visa. They arrive at the airport alone, and some have a contact, but others arrive not knowing where to go or what to do next.

Then, they must find a way to file paperwork asking for asylum, beginning the legal process in which they must prove that they were truly fleeing for their lives.

These are not illegal immigrants looking for financial gain. They would have been killed if they would have stayed.

And now they are going through the legal processes yet asylum seekers in DFW often wait for two years or more before they receive their work permit, and during this waiting period they are not eligible for any government services.

How are they supposed to survive?!

This is why some of these educated, hard-working, courageous victims of injustice, who came here for safety, end up here on our streets.