How to seek asylum in the United States


hi my name is Edafe Okporo I’m a refugee
in the United States I also work as the executive director of RDJ refugee
shelter in Harlem I’m the author of bed 26 man more of an Africa mass asylum in
the United States asylum is a big issue especially with the current climate in
America people flee from their country coming to United States to seek asylum
when I came to United States in 2016 I wish there were videos like this to guide me
through my journey so on this video I’m going to explain five basic principles
in seeking asylum many people have asked me how do I seek asylum when I come to
the United States what do I do this video is going to explain to you the
basic process of how to seek asylum in the United States of America before we
begin let’s start with definition of what is Asylum I’m going to make this
definition a simple and understandable to you as a viewer asylum is basically
someone fleeing their country which they fear persecution from to another country
that will offer them protection the UN refugee agency in 1951 signed a bill
that protects people who flee their country to gain protection in a foreign
country an asylum seeker becomes a refugee when they have been granted
protection so there are two types of asylum when I came to United States in
2016 I went through the defensive asylum but there’s also the affirmative asylum
so the defensive asylum is an asylum seeker who comes into the country let’s
use United State for example like myself I came to the border and
ask for protection the border is an airports seaports or a walking border and ask for protection I was placed on deportation proceedings fighting my
deportation and looking for a chance to stay in the country that is a defensive
asylum-seeker an affirmative asylum seeker is someone who comes into the
country goes through the border and is given a time period to stay in a country
during his day they discover that their country conditions have changed for
example I’m from Nigeria I’m staying in the US and I discovered the government of
Nigeria passed a law that criminalizes same sex and I’m also a gay man I can’t
return to my country then I asked for affirmative asylum. who is qualified for
asylum?. They are basically five protected grants for asylum the five protected
grants for asylum are Race, Religion, Membership of a particular social group,
Political opinion and Nationality. Now we explain this five protected grants for
asylum 1. Religion you are from Saudi Arabia
and you happen to be Christian and in Saudi Arabia majority of the people are
Muslim you become persecuted because of your
religious belief as a Christian you flee Saudi Arabia to United State to seek
asylum you are seeking asylum based on religious reason asylum based on
2. Membership of a particular social group is someone like me I identify as a gay
man from Nigeria if I ask for protection from the United States government I am
seeking protection based on my sexual orientation I qualify as a member of a
particular social group. 3. Race you are black living in a white dominated
country and because of your race you cannot be able
to get a job you couldn’t be able to live your life your race is interfering
with how you are able to co habitat with other people you flee out of your
country to seek asylum in another country. 4. Political opinion you are a
member of APC and PDP is the ruling party and because you have a voice as a
member of APC, PDP targets you you flee your country because you have a strong
political opinion that is different from the leading political party you are
persecuted based on your 5. Nationality the Kurd’s are persecuted in Turkey they flee to Syria so they are persecuted because they are Nationals of Syrians
living in a different border. So I will round up the grounds for asylum and the
two types of asylum. The grounds for asylum are 5 major grounds for asylum and the
two types of asylum, there is defensive asylum and there is affirmative asylum. When
you leave your country and come into another country to seek asylum that is
only when you can seek asylum you can’t seek asylum in your own
country you have to be on ground in the country where you want to seek asylum so
for me when I came into the u.s. to seek asylum
I need a legal representative like I said I am NOT a lawyer
these videos are solely based on my experience as a refugee who came a
second asylum and as a staff of RDJ refugee shelter. If you are in need of
legal organizations to represent you there are pro bono legal organizations
that could support you like when I came here I was supported by Immigration
Equality there are other organizations like Legal Aid Society,
Bronx defenders, Brooklyn defenders down in the link of this video you’ll
find organizations that can support you with seeking asylum in a foreign
country. So; if you are in defensive Asylum like myself from the border you
will be detained. Detention is mandatory for all arriving alien who cross the
border seeking protection when you’re in detention center from there you can
fight for your Asylum fighting for asylum require three basic thing the
1. First basis for asylum is past persecution that means you would prove
if you have been persecuted in the past for example you flee Saudi Arabia
because you are Christian the Muslims beat you up because you’re a Christian
that is a past. 2. Present persecution is am a Christian from Saudi I
can’t return because is still a Muslim-dominated
country. 3. Future persecution for example is the example I give for the
affirmative asylum seeker I cant return back to my country because country
conditions have changed and this Law that change means that if I return as a gay
person I will be imprisoned for 14 years. So; they’re three (3) basis for asylum is in
either a past persecution, present persecution, and future persecution. If you are
filing for asylum defensive you get to see an immigration judge but an
affirmative asylum seeker might not get to see an immigration judge that is the
two basic difference in affirmative asylum you file with the USCIS office
that is close to you but a defensive Asylum you have to see an immigration
judge who will determine if you should come back and file for your masters hearing.
The Masters hearing is when you come with all the documents to prove your
claim for asylum like for myself I’m a gay man from Nigeria I have to prove how
the judge could believe that I identify as a gay man from Nigeria but if I was
to go to the USCIS office I might just be interviewed by an asylum
officer and I will be granted asylum so the two major difference is that the
defensive asylum seeker get to see an immigration judge the affirmative asylum seeker might not get to see an immigration judge so all you need to
know about Asylum is this when you arrive here there’s two step one is
affirmative the other is defensive in defensive you get to see an immigration
judge affirmative if you don’t get to see an immigration judge there are five
protected grounds for asylum which is 1. Race, 2. Religion, 3. Membership of a particular
social group, 4. Nationality or 5. Based on a political opinion I am NOT a lawyer if
you need legal counsel on your specific case please consult a lawyer if you like
this video there are other videos about after the grant of asylum what to do if
you are granted asylum and in need of a travel document you can search different
videos we have on this page to learn more thank you for joining us today

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