Proposed Trump Administration Asylum Rule Would Deny Protection to Most Central Americans

According to reporting from The New York Times, the Trump Administration is proposing a new rule that would bar most Central American migrants from applying for asylum protection in the United States. If allowed to go into effect, this immigration restriction would have a devastating impact on some of the most vulnerable people. Here, our asylum attorney provides an overview of the key things that you need to know about the Trump Administration’s latest attack on asylum rights.  

The Proposed Rule: Migrants Must Apply for Asylum in the ‘First’ Country They Enter

Under the proposed rule change submitted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), migrants would be required to apply for asylum in the “first” country that they enter. Only after they apply for asylum in that country would they become eligible to file an American asylum claim. If an immigrant fails to comply with the regulation, the Trump Administration’s proposal would then legally bar them from applying for asylum in the United States. 

The Trump Administration’s Ruling Would Cause Serious Harm to Many Vulnerable Families

As with other Trump Administration policies, the proposal to change American asylum laws is not happening in a vacuum. This is a clear and direct on attack on the ability of Central American migrants to apply for asylum. Currently, many migrants are fleeing desperate and dangerous conditions in the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. In trying to escape violence in these countries, migrants typically make the long journey through Mexico to Southern border of the United States.

In effect, the Trump Administration’s rule change would make it extremely difficult for any Central American to apply for asylum protection. They would have to first file an asylum claim in Mexico — then, they would only be able to apply for protection in the United States if their asylum claim in Mexico was denied. Of course, this does not mean they would ever be granted protection in the U.S., as the Trump Administration may very well try to push immigration judges to deny these claims on the grounds that Mexico already rejected them. 

The bottom line: President Trump is trying to build a huge barrier to block Central Americans from seeking asylum protection in the United States. 

The Fight Is Not Over: The ACLU is Preparing a Lawsuit

A lawsuit is being filed to stop President Trump’s proposed rule change from going into effect. As reported by The Hill, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that it will “sue swiftly” to prevent the Trump Administration from stripping asylum protections. Our law firm will keep a close watch on any new developments in this case. 

Speak to an Asylum Attorney Right Away

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are strong, committed advocates for immigrants and their family members. Our immigration lawyer has deep experience handling the full range of asylum cases. To arrange a completely confidential initial consultation, please contact us today.