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Refugee policies and attitudes - USA

The #US#asylum policy is based on three requirements:⁣

1. The applicant cannot be convicted of a serious crime⁣

2. They must show a well-founded proof of their #persecution in the country of origin or residency⁣

3. They must show that the persecution is on the grounds of #race, #religion, #nationality, #political opinion or particular social group.⁣

However, there is a presidential yearly quota, which is a maximum number of #refugees that can be admitted during the following fiscal year. The numbers reached a historic low in recent years but in 2022 the number has gone up to 125 000. However, during 2021, out of the 62 500 quota only 11 411 refugees have actually been accepted. In 2019 the refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (#DRC) made up nearly half of the US refugee population, followed by those from #Myanmar and #Ukraine.⁣

There are many systemic issues that refugees face in the US, like the 365-days period after application during which they are ineligible for work and receive no state support. During his presidency, Donald Trump introduced new restrictions for asylum seekers entering the country through the #Mexican border, such as an additional fee and work permit restrictions.⁣

Refugees are eligible for a #greencard (permanent status) one year after legalising their stay. Despite being issued a green card, they are at risk of #detention, as the US detention centres are modelled after the prison system and one can be placed there even without criminal conviction.⁣

In a 2018 survey, 51% of the US-American respondents have said that it is the responsibility of their country to accept refugees, while 43% said it is not.⁣

However, the people’s political views vary, with nearly ¾ of Democrats presenting an open attitude towards accepting refugees compared to only 26 of Republicans. At the same time, according to YouGov research, 61% of US-Americans agree that their country should take in Ukrainian refugees currently fleeing the war, while the refugees from #Afghanistan and #Syria are welcomed by less than half the population.

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