For some immigrants entering the U.S., resettling in the United States is their goal. While this might be for career opportunities, others take this step because of the fear of persecution in their home country. Seeking asylum is not a rare step taken by immigrants; however, it is an area of immigration law that has faced criticism and has endured many changes.
Over the past several decades, cities like Chicago have seen climbing numbers of asylum seekers. This was expected as the prior administration expanded the number of refugees and asylees coming to America. However, current reports indicate that these numbers have shot down, as the current administration seeks to continually reduce the number of refugees the U.S. admits each year.
An executive order was signed in early October, which dropped the ceiling on refugee admissions to a record low of 30,000. The prior year, the ceiling was set at 45,000, which was already an historic low. In 2016, the number was set at 110,000 by the prior administration.
This reduced cap has been widely criticized on a humanitarian level, as this presents issues for the 68.5 million people that are being displaced from their homes worldwide. This could also disrupt recruitment for certain businesses, as they have historically relied on immigrants to fulfill certain roles. In Illinois, the numbers of refugees coming into the state plummeted from 700 to 175.
While current U.S. immigration laws can impact the rights and abilities of immigrants seeking asylum, this does not make it impossible. Refugees and asylum seekers still have the ability to enter the U.S. and gain status to remain in the country; however, it is important to ensure they are aware of the process and how to overcome any issues encountered.