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Seeking asylum can be a long and difficult journey

Having to leave home for any reason can bring about feelings of anxiety. When individuals from other countries have to flee their homes, anxiety may also be coupled with fear. In some cases, people may not have a fully formed plan of where they are headed, and as a result, they may need to seek asylum once they get to a country they feel may be safe.

Many individuals seeking asylum come to California due to its shared border with Mexico. However, working to obtain this protection can be a long and complicated process. Individuals in this position will need to fill out the proper applications, provide details on why they are seeking protection and give information relating to their families and personal backgrounds. Interviews are also required, and it can take years for the process to be completed.

In order for a person to seek asylum, he or she must be facing persecution back home due to one of several factors, including religion, political views, nationality, race or social group membership. Additionally, an asylum-seeker differs from a refugee because a refugee applies for protection before coming to the United States whereas a person seeking asylum applies after entering the country or while at a port of entry. In 2017, over 250,000 asylum cases were open.

For some people, seeking asylum may be the only way they feel they can keep themselves and their families safe. While the process can be long and difficult, it could prove worthwhile. Because individuals trying to work through these proceedings may need legal assistance, it may prove beneficial to consult with knowledgeable California attorneys.

Source: USA Today, "What does it mean to seek asylum in the United States?", Hannah Wiley, May 1, 2018

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