Policy Summary
As of July 15, the Trump Administration has revised US asylum laws and put forward an asylum ban policy. Migrants coming from Central America who have passed through other countries en route to the US may no longer be able to apply for asylum due to new restrictions. The new ban requires migrants coming from Central America to make an asylum claim at a previous country en route to the US before arriving at the US Southern Border in order to be eligible for asylum in the US. The exceptions include if an individual was trafficked and/or if the migrant applied and was denied asylum in another country. This new rule even applies to unaccompanied children who cross the border alone.

This asylum ban violates domestic and international asylum laws. Congress has existing rules that a migrant cannot be banned from seeking asylum based on their nation of origin. The White House might also be acting outside of their range of power  as they do not have the authority to change laws established by Congress. Thus, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration.

This new asylum ban is an aggressive push for the Trump Administration’s nativist rhetoric surrounding immigration and xenophobic tendencies. Slowly, but surely, this administration has been increasingly and aggressively trying to end asylum through loose interpretations of existing principles, laws, and filling the gaps with rigid stoppers.

In 2009, nearly 23% of asylum claims were granted. In 2018, only 8% of claims prevailed. Immigration courts are backlogged by more than 800,000 cases, so as it stands there are hundreds of thousands of migrants who will have to wait years for their cases to be heard. In times like these, efficiency is required, not panic or abrupt stops.

Engagement Resources

  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.

FWD.us: an organization that aims to promote the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream alive. They specifically and currently focus on immigration reform.

Photo by Kyle Glenn

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