Asylee Statistics 2006 Released.

Each year thousands of persons who fear or face persecution in their country of origin seek asylum or refugee status in the United States. Those living outside the United States may be referred for refugee status, and if approved, enter the United States as refugees. Individuals already living in the United States or appearing at a U.S. port of entry may apply for asylum. This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report provides information on the number of persons admitted to the United States as refugees or granted asylum in the United States in 2006. In this report, years refer to fiscal years (October 1 to September 30).In 2006, 41,150 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees (see Figure 1). The leading countries of origin Refers to country of nationality or the country credited with the admission. for refugees were Somalia, Russia, and Cuba. Also in 2006, 26,113 individuals were granted asylum, including 12,873 who were granted asylum affirmatively through an application process and 13,240 who were granted asylum defensively through an immigration judge. The leading countries of origin for asylum cases were China, Haiti, and Colombia.DEFINING “REFUGEE”A refugee is an alien outside the United States who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of origin because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. This definition of refugee is set forth in §101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Refugee Act of 1980 and
generally conforms to the international definition of refugee contained in the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. In addition, the INA allows the President to designate certain nationalities that may be processed for refugee status within their homelands. In 2006, the designated areas included Cuba, Vietnam, and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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