Press Release

New AAF Primer on U.S. Refugee and Asylum Policy

With the Trump Administration seeking to reduce the number of refugees who enter the United States and the number of asylum applications skyrocketing, AAF’s Jacqueline Varas and Kevin Lentz have written a new primer explaining U.S. policy for these groups of potential immigrants. They explain the differences and similarities between the processes for the two groups as well as the historical trends for refugee and asylum immigrants.

Key points include:

  • The application process for both refugees and asylees involves biometric screening, criminal checks, and vetting evidence of current or future persecution.
  • The number of refugees admitted to the United States dropped in 2018 to its lowest level since 1980. In contrast, the number of individuals seeking asylum has increased to record levels, leading to a large backlog of asylum claims that current government resources are unable to process.
  • The Trump Administration is seeking measures to lower both the number of refugees (by lowering the cap) and asylees (by restricting eligibility) seeking entry into the United States.

Read more here.