Asylum Seekers

For the purposes of this training, the term "asylum seeker" refers generally to an alien who is seeking asylum or other protection from removal from the United States because of fear of persecution or torture. In some cases, an asylum seeker physically present or arriving in the United States may already be considered a refugee.


The Immigration and Nationality Act defines "refugee" generally as a person who is outside his or her country of nationality or a country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. (Resource: Immigration and Nationality Act [Sec. 101(a)(42)])