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Trump administration proposes new limits on asylum system
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Trump administration proposes new limits on asylum system

The US Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday released a draft of a new regulation that would make it more difficult for migrants to claim asylum in the US.

The departments propose to amend the current regulations that govern credible fear determinations so that any individual that has a credible fear will have a claim for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection. The proposed rule also specifies the standard of review that applies in streamlined proceedings that determine whether an individual has a credible fear. The rule would also change asylum regulations, statutory withholding or removal, and withholding and deferral of removal under Convention Against Torture regulations. There are also amendments to the standards for adjudication of applications for asylum and statutory withholding.

The departments propose that it would be better policy to place aliens with a positive credible fear determination in asylum-and-withholding-only proceeding, rather than section 240 proceedings. Aliens who establish a credible fear of persecution, a reasonable possibility of persecution, or a reasonable possibility of torture and receive a positive fear determination will appear before an immigration judge for asylum-and-withholding-only proceedings. These proceedings will be adjudicated in the same way that currently applies to individuals under the Visa Waiver Program.

The DOJ also proposes to specify that immigration judges consider applicable legal precedent when reviewing a negative fear determination. The statutory withholding of removal screening standard and the torture-related screening standard for stowaways and aliens in expedited removal would be clarified and raised. The DHS proposes to include consideration of internal location. Both departments propose to add asylum and statutory withholding eligibility bar considerations.

The proposed rule is currently 161 pages, and it is set to published in the National Register on June 15. Interested individuals can participate by submitting written data, views, or arguments on the rule through either electronic or written comments within 30 days of the rule’s publication date.