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Immigration Experts Discuss Trump Admin’s New Attempt to Ban Asylum

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A recording of the call is available here.

Earlier today, immigration experts and advocates gathered on a press call to discuss the Trump administration new proposed asylum, aimed at creating more confusion and blanket exclusion. The Third-Country Asylum Rule (an interim final rule that will go into effect immediately if not enjoined by the courts) will target migrants who travel through a third country (meaning: Mexico) before reaching the U.S. and will prohibit them from applying for asylum. 

Below are quotes from today’s speakers. 

Kerri Talbot, Director of Federal Advocacy, Immigration Hub, said, “Bottom line, this new proposed asylum ban is just that﹣a ban. Yet another illegal action from the White House that will likely not stand the test of our laws. The Trump administration has no interest in resolving any immigration issue with commonsense policy. This is more of the same rabid meat to make a 2020 play at riling up Trump’s diminishing base while terrorizing immigrant families and stirring the chaos at and across our southern border.”

Eleanor Acer, Director of Refugee Protection, Human Rights First, said, “The Trump administration is trying to ban most refugees from asylum in the United States.  The new rule is dangerous, disgraceful and a blatant attempt to rewrite laws passed by Congress. The new regulation would return refugees to deadly dangers and create chaos and confusion both at the border and in U.S. asylum adjudications. Ultimately, this asylum ban, would bar from asylum refugees from  Cuba, Eritrea, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and other countries if they seek protection at the US southern border.”

Keren Zwick, Associate Director of Litigation, National Immigrant Justice Center, said, “With this interim rule, the Trump administration has all but obliterated access to asylum at our southern border. This announcement is a new, more damaging assault on asylum access, that will affect nearly every asylum applicant to apply for relief in this Country. As with Trump’s previous, narrower asylum ban in November 2018, this rule is illegal and will be challenged. We are confident that, just as with the first rule, which has been enjoined as illegal and contrary to the statute, federal courts will defend our country’s laws against the president’s racist and anti-immigrant agenda.”

Charanya Krishnaswami, Advocacy Director for the Americas, Amnesty International, said, “This rule would fundamentally eviscerate the right to seek asylum at the U.S. border. As the U.S. State Department’s own reporting makes clear, the idea that people can access protection in common countries of transit to the Mexico/U.S. border is a farce. On the contrary, conditions in many of those countries are compelling asylum-seekers to flee.” 

Greg Chen, Advocacy Director, American Immigration Lawyers Assoc (AILA), said, “The interim final rule will create additional chaos, further endangering asylum seekers. Like the raids that the administration has threatened, the rule is not a solution, but instead just another immense roadblock for legitimate asylum seekers to access protection. AILA will continue to offer resources to help people understand their rights and get a fair day in court.”