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The current situation in Colombia and the process of requesting asylum


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The situation in Colombia

Violence in Colombia has increased in recent months due to President Iván Duque's tax reform, which has resulted in a great deal of violence and the need to flee the country for many people: those who suffer in the system have decided to leave. There is a movement of Colombians persecuted to the United States, in search of new opportunities in a new country. The US can protect these people with “asylum” status.


Asylum

Seeking asylum is a way to protect foreigners who already live in the United States or who arrive at the border and can be defined as “refugees”, or someone who cannot or does not want to return to their country of origin as a result of persecution. and / or fear of persecution. The US government recognizes persecution as serious physical harm, coercive psychological treatment, disproportionate punishment for a criminal offense, serious discrimination, economic persecution, and extortion or serious criminal theft as a result of race, religion, national origin, membership in a social group, and / or political opinion of the victim. If you meet these requirements, you are eligible to apply for asylum status.


The benefits

There are many benefits to obtaining asylum status:

  1. Protection from being returned to your country of origin

  2. Authorization to work in the US

  3. Possibility of requesting a Social Security card

  4. Possibility of permission to travel abroad

  5. Possibility of bringing family members who live in the country of origin to the USA.

  6. Eligibility for certain government programs (Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance)

After one year with asylum status, you can apply for lawful permanent resident status, and receive your green card. As a permanent resident, you can apply for citizenship after 4 years.


The application process

To obtain asylum status, you need to prove the threat of violence in your home country. As a result, it is necessary to provide testimony that shows evidence that you have suffered persecution or are afraid of persecution. It is possible to apply with your spouse and children under 21 years of age and not married. To be approved, you cannot present a threat to the US and you need to apply during your first year in the US.



Mil Mujeres in action If you need help applying for asylum status or have questions about your eligibility to qualify, Mil Mujeres can help. We offer immigration legal services to low-income people. Although we primarily focus on helping survivors of crimes related to gender violence, we also offer services to other survivors of violent crime. If you have any questions, please contact us by email at questions@milmujeres.org or by phone at (202) - 808-3311.