America has led the world in refugee resettlement for 15 years, but asylum cases have pushed political tempers to a tipping point.
Asylum is one way that refugees come to America. If you’ve already fled your home country for fear of persecution, and come to the United States, but don’t have refugee status, applying for asylum is the next step you take. It’s a small subset of the American immigration system, but it’s the mechanism behind so much of the news about border.
Families recently separated from their children at the border came seeking asylum. People fleeing from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — an area known as the Northern Triangle — come to the United States seeking asylum. To even get a hearing before an immigration judge, potential asylum-seekers have to prove that they have what’s called “credible fear” of returning home. And this is where that backlog really begins.