Trump Administration Raises Bar for Asylum Seekers at Southern Border

The Trump administration announced changes in asylum regulations Monday morning that will “add a new bar to eligibility for asylum” for those migrants who appear at, or illegally cross the U.S. border from Mexico. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials announced Monday morning a new asylum rule that requires migrants to show proof that they applied for asylum protection in “at least one third-party country outside of the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence.” “While the recent supplemental funding was absolutely vital to helping confront the crisis, the truth is that it will not be enough without targeted changes to the legal framework of our immigration system,” DHS Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said in a written statement. “Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.” The new rule, applied to 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(c) and 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(c) adds a new eligibility requirement for migrants who enter or attempt to enter the U.S. via the southwestern border with Mexico. The rule will effectively bar migrants from claiming asylum, with certain exceptions, if they did not request asylum for protection from persecution or torture in at least one other country where asylum was available through which they traveled after leaving their point of origination.

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