Trump administration proposes changes to asylum process

In a move that will likely be challenged in court, President Trump announced a big change to asylum policies in the United States.

According to Fox News, “The new rule, published in the Federal Register, would require most migrants entering through America’s southern border to first seek asylum in one of the countries they traversed – whether in Mexico, in Central America, or elsewhere on their journey.”

United States Attorney General William Barr said the policy “will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States.”

The ACLU is already planning to challenge, saying it’s unlawful.

From USA Today:

Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney who led the lawsuit that forced the administration to reunite more than 2,800 migrant families separated under Trump’s failed “zero tolerance” policy, said Monday morning his team would be filing a lawsuit soon against Trump’s latest move.

“The rule is unlawful, period,” Gelernt said. “We will be in court immediately to block the rule. It effectively ends asylum for anybody approaching the southern border and could not be more inconsistent with our country’s commitment to provide safe haven for those fleeing danger.”

The Department of Homeland Security also released a statement on the changes, highlighting the exceptions.

(1) an alien who demonstrates that he or she applied for protection from persecution or torture in at least one of the countries through which the alien transited en route to the United States, and the alien received a final judgment denying the alien protection in such country;

(2) an alien who demonstrates that he or she satisfies the definition of “victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons” provided in 8 C.F.R. § 214.11; or,

(3) an alien who has transited en route to the United States through only a country or countries that were not parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol, or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.


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