An asylum seeker is a person who has fled their own country and applies to the government of another country for protection as a refugee.
According to the United Nations Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention), a refugee is a person who is outside their own country and is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their:
* membership of a particular social group
* political opinion.
A 9/30/11 Presidential Memorandum on determinations of up to 76,000 refugee admissions numbers and authorizations of in-country refugee status for eligible persons of Cuba, Eurasia and the Baltics, Iraq, and in exceptional circumstances, persons in any location, for FY2012.
The admission of up to 76,000 refugees to the United States during Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest; provided that this number shall be understood as including persons admitted to the United States during FY 2012 with Federal refugee resettlement assistance under the Amerasian immigrant admissions program, as provided below.
The 76,000 admissions numbers shall be allocated among refugees of special humanitarian concern to the United States in accordance with the following regional allocations (provided that the number of admissions allocated to the East Asia region shall include persons admitted to the United States during FY 2012 with Federal refugee resettlement assistance under section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs.
Read Obama’s release here.