Asylum is under attack. We need your voice. On June 15, the administration proposed regulations designed to eviscerate the United States’ asylum system. The proposed rules are the latest attempt to undermine the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution guaranteed in federal statute and international treaty. Comment by July 15, 2020 and do your part to save asylum.

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.

If adopted, the rules will effectively end the U.S. asylum system. The proposed regulations will make it even harder for people arriving at U.S. borders to be granted asylum. It redefines longstanding concepts of “persecution,” “political opinion” and “membership in a particular social group.” It expands grounds to deny applications. The proposed rule violates administrative procedures, Congressional intent, due process, and international law.

Submit comments before July 15, 2020 by any of the methods, below, with reference RIN 1125-AA94 or EOIR Docket No. 18-0002:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the website instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email (preferred): DHSDeskOfficer@omb.eop.gov (include the docket number and “Attention: Desk Officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS” in the subject line of the email).
  • Fax: 202-395-6566.
  • Mail: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503; Attention: Desk Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS

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