Currently, there are a number of people who have been approved for a benefit called withholding of removal, which is similar to asylum. This is because the Trump Administration’s “transit ban” prevented many people from obtaining asylum in the United States because they had crossed through Mexico on the way here. For people with very strong cases, instead of receiving asylum, the judge ordered approval of withholding of removal.
Withholding of removal is a benefit that allow someone to remain in the United States, but often not permanently. It does not contain some of the benefits that apply to someone given asylum. This includes the ability to apply for a green card after one year being in the United States. However, those who have been granted withholding of removal can apply for a work permit. The first work permit application is free.
It’s very important for anybody granted withholding of removal within the past few years to speak with an attorney in order to review their options. Because the transit ban was recently enjoined (stopped) by a court for many states, there may be new legal options. Many people may have a limited amount of time to reopen their cases in Immigration Court. This can allow that person to apply for Asylum again, and potentially get approved. An approved asylum case is significantly more powerful than withholding of removal. Asylum generally allows one to apply for a green card after 1 year and results in a much more stable and secure residence in the United States.