Pennsylvania residents may be interested in learning more about some of the recent changes affecting asylum and immigration status in the United States. According to the House Judiciary Committee, between 2007 and 2013, there was more than a 585 percent increase in the number of people granted asylum into the United States. By the end of 2014, there were more than 415,000 cases involving non-detained asylum cases still awaiting review by immigration court.
The asylum status is typically designated to individuals or groups of people facing a credible threat of torture or persecution in their native country. Some Republican representatives blame the president for abusing the system and rubber stamping cases. There are representatives who feel these immigrants should be detained while they are vetted, and not released into the United States as they have been in recent years. An Alabama senator described the recent trend as taking liberties with the standards of who qualifies as a legitimate refugee.
The House Judiciary Committee recently voted on a bill to better define the standards for seeking asylum, but some contended that the bill fell short by not redacting certain incentives. During 2012, there were over 44,000 defensive asylum requests to the U.S. China and Mexico made the most requests, accounting for 25 percent and 21 percent of the total, respectively. However, 28 percent of the requests were actually made by immigrants from a myriad of other unspecified countries.
People who need more information about immigration issues typically benefit from confiding in legal counsel. Lawyers may be prepared to assist immigrants who are seeking asylum or permanent residency in the United States. Immigrants who are seeking employment or other specific visas may also benefit from enlisting the service of legal counsel.