You see it in the news all the time. People claim that anyone who crosses the border into the United States without a visa or permission has broken the law.
The reality is that isn’t exactly true. Asylum seekers can come to any port of entry when they seek asylum, but they can also be in the United States already. For example, someone who crosses the border into America from Mexico may not be anywhere near an official crossing point, but once they’re in the United States, they can still pursue asylum to protect them against returning to their country.
Did you know that there is no way to seek asylum in advance of coming to the United States?
Unfortunately, there is no way to seek asylum in advance of coming to the United States, so people who come here without paperwork have done so out of necessity. It’s only possible to seek asylum after reaching the border.
How do you seek asylum at the border?
If you are not yet in the United States, you can seek asylum at the border by speaking to a U.S. official or agent. That agent will either place them in immigration court removal proceedings or an expedited removal proceeding. In an expedited case, no judge will hear the case, and the person will be asked to leave the country.
However, if the person seeking asylum says that they are scared of returning to their home country and intend to seek asylum, they will be sent to a credible fear interview. If they can prove that their fears are reasonable, then they will have an opportunity to seek asylum before a judge.