Claiming asylum has never been the most popular means of entering or remaining in the US. Nevertheless, about 100,000 people apply for asylum in the US every year, representing an increase of at least 1,700 percent over 2007. The percentage of claims that are approved have decreased for the last several years, even as the percentage of claims dismissed as frivolous has risen.
Asylum is a US immigration status that is based on humanitarian concerns for people who have good reason to fear that harm will come to them if they return to their home countries. If you receive it, you will be allowed you to live and work in the US for an indefinite period of time. Asylum is granted only to people who are present in the US, however. If you are located abroad, you should apply for refugee status, which offers equivalent benefits.