Asylum seekers in the U.S. are:

  • Displaced people fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries
  • Requesting sanctuary individually, unlike refugees who are invited and resettled by the U.S. State Department
  • From many different countries, but the families CASP offers support to at the moment are from Central America, the Caribbean, as well as East and West Africa.

What happens (in general) to asylum seekers after they arrive in the U.S.?

  • They are detained in locked facilities for an uncertain period.
  • They must pass a “credible fear interview” to determine if they have a reasonable claim to asylum.
  • They may be released if they have relatives or friends (somewhere in the U.S. to support them or an organization such as CASP).
  • On release, they are scheduled for asylum hearings in immigration court.
  • The process usually takes a few years, resulting in either asylum or denial.
  • If asylum is denied, the asylum-seeker gets two appeals before deportation.

How does CASP help asylum seekers in this process?

  • Generally, CASP finds host homes for asylum-seeking individuals and families who have no one else to take them in. During COVID-19, we have been renting apartments for those for whom we cannot find housing.
  • CASP offers basic needs such as food, clothing, and transportation.
  • CASP assists them in finding legal aid to pursue their asylum claims in immigration court.
  • CASP accompanies asylum seekers as they successfully resettle in our community. Two of CASP’s tools are a curriculum map, and a volunteer resource guide.