The Common Good
August 2005

Waiting For Asylum

by Claire McKeever | August 2005

Those seeking a safe haven in the United States from religious, political, and economic oppression are finding it more difficult to obtain asylum on U.S. soil.

Those seeking a safe haven in the United States from religious, political, and economic oppression are finding it more difficult to obtain asylum on U.S. soil. According to a recent report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 32 percent of asylum seekers in the United States are detained for 90 days or longer.

"Refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. face tremendous hurdles, from immigration detention to the lack of legal representation to a new law that will make it even tougher for them to receive protection," Eleanor Acer, director of Human Rights First's Asylum Program, told Sojourners.
About half of asylum seekers are held in county jails.

  • 64 days: The average length of detention for asylum seekers who are determined to have cause for "credible fear" if deported to their country of origin.
  • 2%: The chance asylum seekers without a lawyer have of gaining asylum in the United States.
  • 72%: The percentage of asylum seekers denied relief or who withdrew applications for relief from 2000 to 2004.
  • 64%: The percentage of men who received referral interviews based upon "credible fear."
  • 36%: The percentage of women who received referral interviews based upon "credible fear."

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)