Action Alert: Proposed rule would dismantle U.S. asylum protections

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice proposed a new rule that would effectively dismantle the protections for those seeking asylum in the U.S. as our laws permit.

Action Alert

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice proposed a new rule that would effectively dismantle the protections for those seeking asylum in the U.S. as our laws permit. The proposed rule would:

  • Establish new standards for evidence provided in credible fear screenings.
  • Put in place new bars on asylum for those claiming persecution because of their political beliefs or because they belong to a particular social group.
    • Presence in a country with generalized violence or a high crime rate is insufficient to establish an asylum claim.
    • Attempted recruitment of the asylum-seeker by criminal, terrorist, or persecutory groups is insufficient to establish an asylum claim.
  • Reinforce the Third Country Transit Rule, wherein an asylum-seeker who travels through more than one country to get to the U.S. must seek asylum in the previously transited countries.

These changes could impact unaccompanied children seeking reunification with a sponsor who is seeking asylum, clients of Bethany Healing Center for Torture and Trauma Victims who are seeking asylum, and those supported through Bethany’s wraparound services program. Sponsors who cannot claim asylum may not be approved for sponsorship or the information provided in their sponsorship application could bring them to ICE attention.

Further Resources

Webinar from the American Immigration Council and Immigration Justice Campaign

Summary of the proposed changes from Human Rights First

Take Action!

Contact your Member of Congress

You can contact your member of Congress using the following:

  • Contact information for your state’s Senators can be found here.

  • You can find out who your House member is by typing your zip-code into the upper right-hand corner of this website.

  • Sample script:

    • I am a constituent from (City, State) and I am concerned about recent proposed changes to the U.S. asylum system (Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review). The proposed changes will leave vulnerable people, many of them children, in harm’s way with no options for safety. (Share a personal story about the importance of asylum-seekers to you, your faith, your community, your business). We need to invest in caring for communities during these difficult times—not detention, deportation, or family separation.

Submit a Formal Comment

Before the rule can be finalized, the government is required to review and respond to public comments submitted by organizations or individuals responding to the rule. A formal comment will be submitted on behalf of Bethany, however, you may submit a comment as an individual and have your voice heard. Comments must be submitted by July 15th here: submit a formal comment.

Below is a sample comment. The government only reviews and responds to unique comments, so please do not simply copy and paste the below but add a bit about your own personal experience or those of people you know.

I am writing in response to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) (the Departments) Joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM): Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review; RIN 1615-AC42 / 1125-AA94 / EOIR Docket No. 18-0002/ A.G. Order No. 4714-2020 published in the Federal Register on June 15, 2020. I firmly oppose the proposed rule for the following reasons:

[Insert your own points as to why you oppose the rule. Also, if applicable, talk about your relevant professional or personal expertise and how it informs your opinion.]

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