The first article in this series explained that a person seeking asylum in the United States is within the definition of a refugee. The second explained the two different ways to request asylum. This article will go in-depth into the second way to apply for asylum: defensive asylum applications.
The process for someone seeking refugee status through asylum can be divided into two categories: affirmative and defensive. An affirmative asylum application is one that is presented when the applicant is not in removal (deportation) proceedings. A defensive application is presented when a person is in removal proceedings. This article gives an overview of both processes.
With the increased call to help refugees, many people often wonder what is the difference between a refugee and someone seeking asylum. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but under the United States immigration law, there is a distinct difference between these two groups of people, including the process in which they are granted legal status in the United States and the resources available to them.
Whenever someone asks me about the provisional waiver, my first piece of advice for them is always to get an attorney. Coming from an attorney, that advice is usually expected and sometimes ignored. But, before casting aside the advice and trudging through the provisional waiver process alone, let me make the case as to why you should hire an attorney.