The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) assists families crossing the border to seek safety in the United States. These families are commonly known as refugees, and legally known as asylum seekers. They are fleeing life-threatening violence, including attempted murder, torture, and rape. Many are suffering from extreme trauma, and most are from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Recent years have been devastating for asylum-seeking families. In 2018, the federal government implemented a systematic family separation policy, tearing children as young as four months old from their parents’ arms at the Mexico-U.S. border. While some families have been reunited, their legal status in the United States remains uncertain, and those in rural and isolated communities continue to lack access to critical legal information.
The current administration has also forced an increasing number of asylum seekers to “remain in Mexico” while awaiting their trials, leaving them in dangerous conditions, unable to access traditional legal support.
Meanwhile, the administration has weakened due process rights for asylum seekers, failing to inform them of their hearings and issuing deportation orders by the thousands. The administration is now threatening raids targeting asylum seekers nationwide.
ASAP’s model has three components: online community support, emergency legal aid, and nationwide systemic reform. We have adapted and grown our work in each of these areas in response to the ongoing crisis.