Applying for asylum in the US takes, on average, 6 months, 2 interviews and one big decision
Updated 3:37 PM ET, Tue May 1, 2018
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.
(CNN)When we think of people coming to the United States to escape danger and persecution, we tend to think of refugees. But the caravan of Central American men, women and children currently languishing at the US-Mexico border has turned national attention to another type of endangered group: asylum seekers.
Asylum status isn't the same as refugee status
There are two paths to asylum
- If someone has been in the US for less than a year, or is seeking asylum at a port of entry, it is considered affirmative asylum.
- If someone is facing deportation from the US or is caught trying to enter the US illegally, they can attempt to claim asylum in order to stay. This is known as defensive asylum and has a very different timeline of events that feels more like a legal trial than a bureaucratic waiting game.