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The Trump Administration’s Unprecedented and Brazen Assault on Asylum Law

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The following are statements by DHS Watch in response to the Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s proposed regulation together with an impending Presidential proclamation that will create unprecedented and legally suspect bars to asylum.

Ur Jaddou, Director of DHS Watch, and former USCIS Chief Counsel, said:

With this regulation and the expected Presidential proclamation, the Trump administration is taking a sledgehammer to the cherished American tradition of protecting people fleeing persecution.

The President is unilaterally rewriting asylum law that was duly considered and passed by Congress decades ago. The pretext is a desperate group of Central American refugees hundreds of miles from the U.S. border which Trump has cruelly manufactured into a crisis for political reasons. Regardless of Trump’s repeated claims, the facts remain that the number of unauthorized crossings at the border are still lower than in many years.

It is these types of actions that remind us why the American people voted on Tuesday for a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives — to put a check on an administration that has gone unchecked for too long and to ensure that our democratic systems of laws is not usurped.

David Leopold, Counsel to DHS Watch, Chair of Immigration at Ulmer & Berne and former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said:

The problem for the Trump administration is that the asylum law couldn’t be more clear: people may apply for asylum in the U.S. regardless of how they get here and regardless of whether or not they arrive at a designated border checkpoint. To avoid the law, as enacted by Congress, the administration has concocted a legally suspect regulation together with an overly broad reading of the President’s authority to limit entry of noncitizens into the U.S. and applications for asylum.

The Trump administration’s insatiable appetite for excluding people from the U.S. started within days of the president’s inauguration with the travel ban and has now expanded to refugees seeking safe haven from horrific violence.

Where does it end?