Under U.S. law, people seeking protection from violence or persecution in their home country can apply for asylum in the United States. This lesson explores the process in which people apply for asylum, the standard for obtaining asylum, and the bureaucratic issues with processing asylum applications.
As a class or individually, view each of the following videos on the background of the asylum process. Answer the questions associated with each video clip or use the notetaking chart on the handout.
Handout: The Asylum Application Process in the United States (Google Doc)
VIDEO CLIP: U.S. Laws Relating to Asylum and Refugee Status (1:35)
VIDEO CLIP: The Standard for Asylum Seekers (1:29)
As a class or individually, view each of the following video clips about the process of applying for asylum. Answer the questions associated with each video clip.
VIDEO CLIP: The Asylum-Seeking Process (4:58)
VIDEO CLIP: Types of Asylum and The Immigration Court System (2:14)
VIDEO CLIP: Where do Asylum Seekers Come From? (1:48)
VIDEO CLIP: Fraud and Abuse in the Asylum Process (3:26)
APPLICATION: Either as a class or as an individual written response, answer the following prompt:
Defining a "well-founded fear of persecution"- Come up with your definition of what a "well-founded fear of persecution" means. Develop a list of situations that might be included in your definition.
Attorney General Sessions announced that he would be adding additional judges and U.S. Attorneys to address the recent caravan of asylum seekers coming from Mexico. Greg Chen of the American Immigration Lawyers Association provided context for the action and discussed the legality of prosecuting asylum seekers. He also talked about some of the issues with the asylum process.