A new regulation by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice seeks to bar asylum to people who enter or attempt to enter the United States at the southern border if they do not first apply for asylum in at least one other country through which they traveled. The Interim Final Rule published July 16 took immediate effect and allows only 30 days for public comment.
The new asylum bar is the latest in a series of actions designed to limit access to protection for refugees. The federal government has engineered a crisis at the southern border by starving the system of adjudicatory resources while exponentially expanding the capacity to detain people arriving in search of protection from persecution or torture. The government has used this engineered crisis to change unilaterally and without debate asylum eligibility rules.
The Advocates for Human Rights is deeply concerned about this restriction on the fundamental human right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. We are reviewing the regulation and monitoring its impact on our clients. Volunteer attorneys should watch for practice guidance and should reach out to The Advocates’ staff or consulting attorneys with questions.
What does the new rule do?
The new rule establishes a new mandatory bar to asylum for people who enter or attempt to enter the United States across the southern border if they did not apply for protection from persecution or torture in at least one third country through which they transited on their way to the United States.
Who does the rule apply to?
The new rule applies to anyone who enters or attempts to enter the United States at the southern border on or after Tuesday, July 16, 2019. This rule does not affect people who entered before July 16, 2019, or who enter or attempt to enter at other ports of entry.
Are there exceptions to the new rule?
There is a very limited exception for people who demonstrate that they are a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
How can I help?
Comments to this rule, identified by EOIR Docket No. 19-0504, may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Call your congressional representatives at 202-224-3121 to ask them to protect the right to seek and enjoy asylum.
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