If you suffered persecution in your country of citizenship, are currently in the U.S., and are unable or unwilling to return to your home country, you may be able to seek asylum. Every year, people come to the U.S. to escape present or future persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or their political opinion. In 1981, the U.S. passed the Refugee Act enabling the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant political asylum or refugee status to those who fear persecution in their home country. According to a New York Times article (J. Preston, 9/30/10), the U.S. granted asylum in more than 22,000 cases in 2009. However, in 2015, the EOIR granted 8,246 asylums.