Anyone who seeks asylum in the United States must be able to prove that he or she will be subject to persecution if returned home. That persecution may be based on race, religion, or political beliefs. In countries where local tribes or clans vie for power, a member of one such group may fear persecution if another group gains political control. Women are persecuted in a number of countries, particularly if they oppose their country’s position on such issues as abortion and birth control. Homosexuals are a frequent target of persecution, especially in strongly religious countries. Students are another common target of persecution, especially if they engage in political or social activism (either at home or abroad).
Those who wish to emigrate to the United States solely for economic purposes (in other words, better job opportunities) must go through normal immigration procedures, not the asylum process. Trying to find a better job, while perhaps laudable, is not a reason to fear one’s government.