A refugee is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or membership in a particular group.
An asylee is an alien who meets the criteria for refugee status, but has entered the U.S. without prior authorization to remain in the U.S. long-term. These individuals often come with temporary visas as students, tourists and business professionals; however undocumented status does not prohibit an individual from applying for asylum. If it is determined that the individual faced or will likely face persecution upon return, Judges will grant applicants asylum or withholding of removal. Asylees may eventually apply to become permanent residents and citizens.
Victims of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery, is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Foreign nationals, U.S. nationals, adults, minors, males and females, can all be victims of human trafficking. Houston is considered a major hub for all forms of human trafficking.
Victims of Domestic Violence: The Violence against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates an opportunity for immigrants who are in abusive relationships with United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents to establish legal immigration status independent of their abusers. To qualify, applicants must be married to, recently divorced from or the child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident; have entered the marriage in good faith; and have been subjected to abuse, battery or extreme cruelty by the parent that has status as a U.S. Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident. Both males and females are eligible to apply for VAWA.
Special Immigrant Visa Holder
A special immigrant visa (SIV) holder is an Iraqi or Afghani national that has worked for or on behalf of the U.S. Government. In order to qualify for a SIV, the applicant must have experienced or be experiencing a continuous serious threat as a result of his/her employment by the United States Government.
A parolee is an individual that has been allowed into the United States for humanitarian purposes even though they do not meet the technical requirements for a visa. Parolee status is only temporary, and the parolee must leave the U.S. when the condition that allows them to be here no longer exists.
A detainee is a person that is held in custody based on the U.S. government's belief that they are subject to deportation or removal.