A person who is physically present in the U.S. can apply for asylum. This includes undocumented people who entered without inspection as well as those who were inspected and admitted and those who overstayed their visas.

You are eligible for asylum if you can demonstrate that you have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, and has never persecuted anyone.

You must apply for asylum within one year of your last arrival in the United States, but you may apply for asylum later than one year if there are changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances directly related to your failure to file within one year. 

You may qualify for asylum as a deportation defense.