How Many Asylum Seekers Have an Attorney?

Not all asylum applicants will receive grants for the chance to stay in the United States. As an asylee aspirant, it will always be recommendable for you to have a legal adviser or lawyer to represent you in the interview and court. However, due to the recent U.S. administration, immigration had been the country’s issue.

Under the former administration of the United States, asylum seekers have been sent to the Mexican border to wait for court hearings. This policy, known as ‘Remain in Mexico’, has been the center of political opinions and countless petitions. ‘Remain in Mexico’ had affected numerous seekers not just on the Mexican border but also on the lawyers known to designate in the area. Because of the policy, it became harder for both lawyers and seekers to establish a stable preparation for application. The difficulty in establishing a connection with asylum seekers is not the only reason that caused the dilemma, but also the crisis of finding legal services contributed to the problem.

Inability to Seek Legal Assistance

Given the changes of asylum laws, specifically ‘Remain in Mexico’, it became a more complex situation for asylum lawyers. As asylum cases have a complicated nature, the degree of difficulty became more pronounced as lawyers had a hard time contacting their clients due to lack of permanent residence and contact details.

Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) or most preferred as ‘Remain in Mexico’, was established on the 24th of January 2019. In June 2019, records stated that a lawyer presented only 1.2% of MPP cases. This policy had withheld the chances of acquiring an asylum grant due to a lack of legal representatives for most applicants. Seekers without attorneys continue to rise in number every month and have become a disadvantage for those who urgently need to be in safety.

The records between January to November 2020 claims that only 4% under Remain in Mexico had attorneys. It was a vast downgrade coming from a 32% mark of asylum seekers living outside the border.

As the year 2021 arises, a new administration is unveiled. This new administration then promises to change immigration laws and make it beneficial for asylum seekers like you, DACA recipients, refugees, and overall non-citizens who are on the verge of deportation. However, this does not change the reality that most asylum seekers do not have their attorneys.


One of the possible reasons is the high demand for non-profit organization lawyers. With its nature being the best fit for asylum applicants, it is a common expectation that you would want to resort to them first. As these types of lawyers often charge for free or reduced cost, the chances of hiring on your first inquiry are slim to none. It proves how the United States needs more pro-bono or non-profit organization lawyers. As the year continuously progresses, hoping for new and improved immigration laws is something we can all look forward to. Apart from the proposed immigration law changes under the new administration, it is beneficial if reduced-cost attorneys would increase in number. For more information, ask an asylum attorney near you.