Trump Administration Proposes New Asylum Restrictions: Seeks to Curtail Migrant Rights

According to a report from NBC News, the Trump Administration has rolled out a new proposal that would make it far more difficult for immigrants to claim asylum in the United States. The sweeping changes are President Trump’s most restrictive proposal yet. Here, our asylum attorney explains what we know about the Trump Administration’s latest attempt to undermine immigrant rights. 

President Trump’s New Asylum Restrictions: Explained

  • Additional Expansion of the ‘First Country’ Rule for Asylum Seekers 

To start, the Trump Administration is attempting to expand the ‘First Country’ rule. Essentially, the rule all but forces asylum seekers to apply for asylum in the first country that they enter before seeking protection in the United States. With very few exceptions, the proposed rule mandates asylum seekers to go through the entire process in the first country that they enter after fleeing their native country. Failure to do so would be used as a justification to deny asylum. 

  • Allow Low-Level Asylum Officers to Mark Claim as ‘Frivolous’—Thereby Denying Full Hearing 

Next, the Trump Administration wants to give lower-level asylum officers the authority to mark a claim as ‘frivolous’—thereby denying the applicant an opportunity to receive a full hearing on the merits of their case. The effect would be that many lightly-regulated asylum officers could simply filter migrants out of the asylum process at a very early stage. There are serious concerns about the fairness of this type of process. 

  • Further Limitations on Who Can Qualify for Asylum 

The proposed rules would also put additional limitations in place regarding who can qualify for asylum. As an example, living in the United States with proper documentation for at least one year would be deemed a “significant adverse factor” and could be used as the basis to deny asylum protection. 

  • Major Worries: A Virtual Elimination of Asylum Rights

Immigrant rights advocates are emphasizing that the Trump Administration’s proposed restrictions call for a radical restructuring of the asylum process. In every way, the new rules would make things more difficult for vulnerable people. As explained by Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, these new rules “would lead to the denial of virtually every claim.” 

The good news is that the rules are not final—far from it. There are several procedural hurdles that the government needs to clear. Further, lawsuits are expected, which, at the very least, will slow down the process. Even more importantly, there is a federal election coming up in November. The public will have an opportunity to make their voices heard and stop the attack on America’s asylum system. 

Our Asylum Attorneys Can Help

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are committed to providing honest, reliable, and solutions-focused immigration advice to clients. If you have any questions about asylum claims or I-730s, we are ready to answer them. Contact us now for an appointment with an experienced immigration lawyer. We represent clients in Los Angeles and throughout the wider region.