Refugees 2

Asylum in the United States: 2013 and Beyond

The United States has a long history of offering asylum and safe haven for refugees. Since 1975, the US has welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world. Before the start of each fiscal year, the President consults with Congress in order to set an overall refugee admission ceiling, as well as regional allocations. The refugee ceiling for 2012 was set at 76,000. This ceiling is not a firm commitment as to the number of actual applications approved, just a nominal ceiling.

The US has announced its plan to admit 70,000 asylum-seeking refugees in 2013, according to the annual presidential memorandum on the subject. This new ceiling represents 6,000 fewer admissions than the previous year, down from 76,000 for 2012.

According to the UNHCR, 2012 saw a significant increase in the world wide number of refugees, with more than  45.1 million people were displaced in 2012, the largest number since 1994.  Despite this increase the number of refugees admitted to the United States only rose 3.2%. Nonetheless, in 2012 the United States accepted more people for resettlement than any other country in the world.

The 2013 Refugee report is has not yet been released, but it is concerning that the United States has lowered the asylum ceiling despite a 20 year high in the global number of refugees.

Below are recent statistics from the past two years.

Refugees 3 Refugees in the United StatesRefugee Facts for 2012

  • 56,384 refugees admitted in 2011
  • 58,179 refugees admitted in 2012
  • 3.2% increase from 2011 to 2012

    In 2012, the leading countries for asylum were

  • China (34%)
  • Egypt (9.8%)
  • Ethiopia (3.8%)
  • Venezuela (3.7%)
  • Nepal (3.3%)
  • Nationals of these five countries accounted for over half of all persons granted asylum.
  • The number of persons who were granted asylum affirmatively increased from 13,369 in 2011 to 17,506 in 2012, a 31 percent increase.

Source: Homeland Security -Refugees and Asylees: 2012

This is general information and is not intended as legal advice. Individuals filing for Asylum should obtain legal assistance from a private attorney or non-profit. If you have any question contact an Asylum Attorney or send Hamid Yazdan Panah an email using the contact form below.