US Asylum Procedure Changes
Asylum is the area of Immigration law that is undergoing rapid and vast changes. Just recently the Trump Administration announced that it will tighten the rules of qualifying for asylum again: now, a person who was traveling through other countries on the way to the US will be disqualified from asylum in the US unless narrow exceptions apply.
These are the exceptions:
- A person was trafficked into the US
- If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed: 1951 Convention on Status of Refugees, 1967 Protocol; and CAT convention.
- If an asylum-seeker sought protection in a country but was denied.
The new regulations govern those who enter or attempt to enter the US at the “southern border”.
Notably, people who will be barred from requesting asylum due to these new regulations may still apply for withholding of removal or CAT. However, the screening for these applications will use a higher standard of fear than asylum. A negative finding of reasonable fear will be subject to a court’s review.
As a result of these new changes, more people, and almost all Central American families will be barred from claiming asylum in the US. They will also be subject to expedited removal proceedings: removal proceedings where one does not see a judge and the removal order is issued at the border by the government agents. An expedited removal order bars one from coming back to the US for 5 years. A person who disobeys such an order and enters the US illegally will be subject to a permanent bar.