An asylum seeker is someone who has left their own country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country, but who hasn’t yet been legally recognized as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim. This persecution may be on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.
Though asylum seekers must submit their initial applications within one year of arrival in the United States, it can take several years for an asylum case to receive a decision. Clients are eligible to receive employment authorization 180 days after filings for asylum, but even after receiving this approval many lack access to critical community services that support cultural integration and future self-sufficiency. Additionally, they often need legal representation in order to successfully navigate the complexity of the asylum process.
The Services to Asylum Seekers program can provide asylum seekers with up to six months of case management; referrals to Exodus’s mental wellness program, trainings, and English classes; assistance with accessing public benefits when possible; access to clothing and other basic household supplies; and more.