There are many different ways for indiviuals to immigrate to the United States and make their way to Charleston. Some of the more common ways are through family connections or because of work, but it is also possible for someone to come to South Carolina in pursuit of asylum.
Whether applied for proactively or as a way to prevent removal, asylum is designed to protect those people who would otherwise be persecuted in their home countries. It is wise for anyone applying for asylum to at least consult an immigration lawyer, because if he or she makes a mistake on his or her application it could mean being sent back to the country from which he or she came.
The asylum process can be long, but, fortunately, anyone who has been waiting for an asylum decision for more than 150 days can apply for employment authorization. The government will not issue an authorization, however, if the delay in the decision process was caused by the asylum seeker.
Moreover, if someone is granted asylum, he or she is immediately given the ability to work. This is incredibly vital, as many asylum seekers arrive in this country with very little money and few resources.
It is also important that asylum seekers be given the ability to work, as it will take them at least a year before they can apply for permanent residency. If they had to wait to work until they could get a green card, many asylum seekers would be unable to afford to remain in the U.S.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Asylum," Accessed July 22, 2014