A refugee is someone persecuted in his or her home country due to race, religion, war, nationality, or political affiliation. Obtaining refugee status in the United States is a form of protection for refugees who are not allowed or unwilling to return to their home country because of fear or social harm. In order to qualify for the refugee status, the applicant must be from outside the U.S.
To qualify for an asylum status, the applicant must meet the definition of a refugee, be present in the U.S., and seek admission at a port of entry, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
One can apply for asylum regardless of the background of your country and immigration status.