You came to the United States to escape violence and to create a better life for your family. You traveled a long and dangerous path to get here. Now the government is trying to send you back. What can you do?

If the government is trying to send you back to your home country, you will be placed in removal proceedings. Removal is commonly referred to as deportation. If you are afraid of returning to your home country, you may be able to stop the government from sending you back by applying for asylum. The process of applying for asylum is long and complex. It is very important to talk with an experienced asylum lawyer before applying for asylum or presenting a case in immigration court. If you are thinking of starting an asylum case or if you already are involved in the asylum process, call immigration lawyer Cole Enabnit at 503-395-8393 or email to set up a consultation.

What is Asylum in the United States?

Asylum status is protection from the United States government. It is permission to stay in the US. Asylees (those granted asylum status) can:

  • work legally in the United States;
  • apply for a US social security number;
  • request permission to travel abroad;
  • petition for some family members who still live in another country to move to the US
  • Apply for special federal benefits–like Medicaid–provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement;
  • apply for a green card (permanent residence) after one year or more in the US;
  • apply for US citizenship four years after receiving a green card.

Who Can Qualify for Asylum in the United States?

The United States may grant someone asylum if the person:

  • is a foreign national (not a US citizen or resident);
  • is already in the US or at the boarder; and
  • meets the international definition of a “refugee.”