Asylum is under attack. The administration has proposed numerous regulations designed to eviscerate the United States’ asylum system. Proposed rules issued in June 2020 were a sweeping attempt to undermine the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution guaranteed in federal statute and international treaty. The administration continues to propose and implement rules that restrict protections and violate international and domestic law.

You can help stop them.

The right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution is a fundamental safeguard against tyranny and oppression. Nearly 50 years ago, the United States joined the global community in recognizing this obligation to ensure that no one is returned to persecution.

In 1980, Congress passed the Refugee Act to enshrine asylum as part of federal law. This law allows people to apply for asylum if they are unable or unwilling to return to their home country due to “persecution or a well- founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”  Asylum seekers today face long applications, strict filing deadlines, complicated legal standards, and high evidentiary burdens. Many must navigate the process alone, often while in isolated detention centers.

A grant of asylum recognizes people as “refugees” and allows them to rebuild their lives in safety in the United States. Once granted asylum, people can reunify with their spouses and children and become U.S. citizens. Federal law also requires the “withholding of removal” of people who can prove they face persecution or torture if deported, but people granted withholding can never reunify with their families and face perpetual threat of deportation and no path to citizenship.

Under administrative law, the executive must accept comments on proposed rules for a period of at least 30 days and then take time to consider all comments before issuing a final rule, which cannot take effect until 30 days from the date of publication.  The Trump Administration is proposing two rules, with comments due by December 28.  With inauguration day on January 20, this means the rules are unlikely to be finalized before the Biden Administration takes office and can order them to not be finalized.  However, to ensure they do not have sufficient time to finalize them, The Advocates encourages as many comments as possible be submitted.   

Comments should be in your own words and include your own opinions or experience.  Copied comments will not be considered by the Administration.  We have prepared two model comments with outlines you can follow and instructions on how to submit your comment easily online.  You can also find brief summaries of the provisions of the rule should you wish to include a more detailed analysis in your comment.