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Asylum

Human Rights First Saves Lives

We help people who have fled dangerous situations in their home countries to obtain asylum in the United States.

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Our Services

Asylum is a legal status that the U.S. government can grant to people who are at risk of harm in their home countries because of who they are—because of their religion, political opinion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, for example—if the governments in their home countries will not protect them.

The process for seeking asylum in the U.S. is complicated and an asylum-seeker is more likely to be granted this form of protection if he or she is represented by a good lawyer who understands the system. Our pro bono legal representation program matches good lawyers with asylum-seekers who need help and would not otherwise be able to afford high-quality legal representation.

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Asylum Seekers

We help people living in the greater Washington D.C., New York City, and Houston metropolitan areas who do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status.  Our New York and Houston offices can also help people who are seeking asylum from within a nearby immigration detention center.

Become a Client     FAQ

Pro Bono Attorneys and Volunteers

We match asylum-seekers who need help and lawyers who can represent them on a pro bono basis. We provide mentoring, training, and guidance throughout the representation to ensure that our pro bono lawyers get the support they need to provide the highest quality legal representation to clients seeking asylum in the country. Through the Refugee Representation program at Human Rights First, volunteer lawyers have the unique opportunity to change the lives of refugees by helping them win asylum in the United States.

Become a Volunteer     Awards and Advocacy

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Law and Procedure

The process for seeking asylum in the U.S. is complicated and an asylum-seeker is more likely to be granted this form of protection if he or she is represented by a good lawyer who understands the system. We provide training and guidance to lawyers who represent clients on a pro bono basis through our program. For a basic overview of asylum law and the legal standards for some other forms of protection-based immigration status that our clients may seek through our program, please click on the link below.

Learn More     View Infographic

Asylum Testimonials

  •   “When I contacted Human Rights First, the first feeling I got from the people that I was in touch with was hope.”
    - Ana Patricia, a client from Honduras

  • “I was brand new to both the law and asylum when I started working on Abdalmageed’s case. It was a very rewarding experience, and Human Rights First was there along the way to guide me through the process."
    - Amanda Zablocki, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

  • “The ultimate goal of an attorney for an asylum applicant is to be an advocate...you absolutely develop your advocacy skills in the course of an asylum case.” - Dan Brown, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

  • “When I came here, people they said to me, this is a very difficult, very complicated process, the refugee and asylum process. I don’t know how to thank Human Rights First and Sheppard Mullin.”

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Support our Work

Human Rights First is a non-profit organization that could not do this work without your generous support. Help us be responsive as people needing our assistance arrive and as global human rights challenges emerge.

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