The Trump administration finalized a new asylum-eligibility restriction Thursday, a move criticized as a “last-minute immigration crackdown,” according to multiple reports.
The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule “creates additional bars” for asylum eligibility and limits its qualifying circumstances, Politico reported. It enables judges to regard specific applications as “frivolous,” more easily, and, without a hearing, discard asylum requests if found lacking “certain evidence.” (RELATED: Judge Blocks Trump From Adding New Asylum Eligibility Disqualifications)
Additionally, the rule guides immigration judges and asylum officers to reject “broad” asylum claims, such as those related to “domestic abuse and gang violence,” with certain exceptions, according to Reuters. Furthermore, requests from migrants who illegally entered the country, used fraudulent documents, or passed through third countries “without seeking refuge elsewhere first” would be viewed “negatively,” Reuters reported.
“The Departments note that these changes are likely to result in fewer asylum grants annually due to clarifications regarding the significance of discretionary considerations and changes to the definition of ‘firm resettlement.’ However, because asylum applications are inherently fact-specific, and because there may be multiple bases for denying an asylum application, neither DOJ nor DHS can quantify precisely the expected decrease,” the DHS wrote in a document published in the Federal Register.
“The U.S. has long been a beacon of hope for those in need of protection. This rule breaks that tradition. By moving forward with this regulation, the Trump administration is making clear that deterrence through cruelty is the point until the bitter end.” https://t.co/bKdmXb51Mz— American Immigration Council (@immcouncil) December 10, 2020
“This is the most sweeping attack on asylum that we have seen under the Trump administration,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the immigration advocacy group, American Immigration Council, stated, according to Politico. “Under this rule, asylum would be taken out of reach for a large percentage of people who in the past would have been able to qualify.”
The move is the most recent in Trump’s attempts to restrict immigration, the Hill reported.