Take Action Against The Asylum Ban
The Advocates for Human Rights calls on the Biden administration to immediately rescind its proposal that dramatically restricts access to asylum. The proposed regulation would circumvent international and domestic legal obligations and punish people for exercising their right to seek asylum. The proposed rule targets people seeking asylum at the southern border. The asylum ban fundamentally departs from how our asylum system should work and is reminiscent of moments in our nation's history when we turned away refugees to their death. Read our full press release about the ban here.
The Administration is accepting comments until 11:59PM ET on March 27, 2023, at regulations.gov. Anyone can submit a comment on the regulation during that period. There is no required format. The Advocates encourages individuals who would be impacted or interested, especially asylum seekers themselves, attorneys, volunteers, faith leaders and concerned citizens to submit a comment.
Use the simple form to submit a comment telling the Biden administration how this policy will hurt asylum seekers. To make sure your comment is counted and considered, be sure to edit the pre-drafted suggestion to make it unique. Anyone, regardless of immigration status, may submit a comment, but comments must be submitted in English. Please note that comments submitted through this form will be placed into the public record. You can also comment directly at https://www.regulations.gov/document/USCIS-2022-0016-0001.
What should I include in my comment?
Tell the government why you oppose the proposed regulation.
- The rule violates international and federal law. Remind the Biden Administration of legal obligations under the Refugee Convention and Protocol, as well as the federal Refugee Act of 1980, to not return people to face persecution and torture, and to not create bars to asylum based on manner of entry or route.
- Seeking asylum is lawful. Remind the Biden administration that seeking asylum is a lawful way under U.S. and international law for people to seek protection when forced to flee. The United States cannot sidestep its obligation under international treaty or the clear federal law on asylum by creating limited parole programs and demanding people use them.
- Explain that people fleeing harm do not have the luxury of waiting long periods of time for visas or parole to be processed.
- The proposed rule will disproportionately harm people who are most in need of protection. The new rule means that people who cannot obtain passports from or clear passport control by the governments they are trying to flee safely will be denied access to asylum.
- The proposed rule will disproportionately harm poor, Black, and Indigenous asylum seekers. The rule effectively denies asylum to people who cannot afford direct flights to the United States or who do not have the financial means to obtain visas to enter the United States. (Visitor visas, for example, require applicants to prove they have financial means to travel to and visit the United States).
Share your perspective.
- If you are a refugee, consider sharing your story, especially if you had to travel through another country before reaching the United States.
- If you are an attorney representing asylum clients, explain how the proposed rule will unfairly bar access to asylum in cases you have handled.
- If you are a business, include any support you have for asylum
seekers in our community.
- If you are
a faith leader, include faith-based reasons for the U.S. welcoming refugees.
you are a concerned citizen,
include your reasons for wanting
to live in a country that welcomes refugees.
What would the proposed rule do?
The new rule would presumptively bar asylum for people who enter through or present at the southern U.S. border if they transited through a third country that is party to the Refugee Convention unless:
- They had advance permission to enter the United States on one of the new parole programs or a visa;
- They obtain an interview through the CBP One app or can show exceptional circumstances that they tried to obtain an interview and were unable to access the app due to language or other barriers;
- They applied for asylum and were denied asylum in a country through which they transited;
- The merit an exception due to exceptional circumstances, such as having an acute medical need, being a victim of human trafficking or a serious crime such as rape or kidnapping, or being an unaccompanied child.
If a person cannot meet one of these exceptions, they will be ineligible for asylum. Asylum provides protection to people who have a "well-founded fear" of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. If granted, they can eventually become lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens; can reunite with spouses and children; and can obtain permission to travel outside the United States. If not eligible for asylum, people may be deported unless they can prove they have a "clear probability" of persecution or torture (a higher standard than required to qualify for asylum), and they never will be able to reunite with family, become a U.S. citizen, or travel outside the United States.
Read the full proposed regulation here: Federal Register :: Circumvention of Lawful Pathways