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Asylum: Difference between affirmative and defensive applications

The average Louisiana resident may have difficulty understanding various aspects of U.S. immigration law. Even those born and raised in the United States are sometimes confused by the legal terminology or the often-changing regulations that govern immigration processes in this country. This is particularly so now that immigration is a hot button issue politically. For instance, many people don’t know that there are two types of asylum: affirmative and defensive.

Understanding the difference between the two may help someone who is trying to navigate the asylum process. Immigration asylum is an official protection granted by a nation to a political refugee who has fled his or her country of origin. Whether an asylum application is classified as affirmative or defensive depends on the means through which the applicant arrived in the United States.

A 64-year-old man was recently granted a defensive asylum, which is a protection sometimes given to someone who has crossed U.S. borders without proper documentation. The man in this case said he had come to the United States in 1992 because there was no work available in Mexico. More than 120,000 people sought defensive asylums in 2017. This man is one of nearly 7,000 whose petitions were granted.

Affirmative asylum is the classified protection given to applicants who had all their paperwork in order when they entered the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processes their applications whereas the Department of Justice reviews defensive asylum petitions. In either case, any Louisiana resident in current need of assistance regarding the asylum process may reach out for experienced legal support.