Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Asylum Definition:

A secure place of refuge.

Related Terms: Refugee, Asylum Shopping, Sanctuary

In international law, asylum refers to, as described by Professor Gamboa:

"Protection from arrest afforded by an embassy ... to political refugees."

In Re Lockyer, Justice accepted that the term asylum meant:

"... a benevolent institution affording shelter and support to some class of the unfortunate or destitute."

In Reference re Intoxicated Persons Detention Act, Justice Huband adopted this definition:

"A secure place of refuge or shelter."

Asylum is a current legal term in immigration law referring to the practice of housing, temporarily or long term, persons in need of protection, usually on the basis of refugee claims.

For example, in Cepero, Justice Rogers used these words:

"An alien in deportation or exclusion proceedings has two primary avenues for relief: asylum and withholding of deportation.

"A grant of asylum permits an alien to remain in the United States. To qualify for asylum, an alien must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution if returned to his country of origin.

"In contrast, withholding of deportation is a remedy which prevents an alien from return to a particular country but does not bar deportation to a third country where the alien would not face persecution. However, withholding of deportation will not be granted where the Attorney General finds the alien, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of the United States."

See, also, asylum shopping.

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