DASH Network exists to glorify God by providing care to one of the most vulnerable populations in our community; people seeking asylum.
What makes people seeking asylum especially vulnerable?
- Within the current US immigration system, people seeking asylum -an international human right and legal status– wait an average of 2-3 years to get their work permit while their case is being processed by the government.
- In addition, people seeking asylum are also not eligible for government assistance such as housing, support, legal council, and Medicaid. This differs from our country’s refugee program (read more about that, here).
- This means that people who are seeking asylum are legally unable to work for 2-3 years and are not eligible for outside governmental assistance. How are they suppose to survive?
Unless people who are seeking asylum have the financial means to survive without work for 2-3 years or are able to be supported by a contact in the US, they are extremely vulnerable to homelessness, food insecurity, human trafficking, and other forms of exploitation.
These facts are not widely known and this issue is often misunderstood. We want to change that.
DASH Network is a community that welcomes and loves people who are seeking asylum with the Love of Christ by offering food, friendship, housing, and equipping. Learn more about our services here.
*Pilar Ferguson, a member of our board, an attorney and the Asylum Program Director for HRI, notes that under current federal regulations, asylum seekers have to wait 365 days from when they file their asylum application with the government. It can take as long as 2.5 years from when the asylum seeker entered the United States to receive a work permit if the asylum seeker was unable to file their asylum application right away. Therefore, depending on what point an asylum seeker is at when they enter DASH, residents regularly spend as many as 3 years in the DASH program.