The outgoing Trump administration has issued new rules which, if adopted, would create additional eligibility bars for asylum seekers. The new rules notably limit the grounds by which individuals qualify for asylum. For instance, persecution generally based on gang violence and/or gender would not qualify.
In addition, the standard for what qualifies as “persecution” will also be heightened, meaning that individuals will have to prove increased levels of suffering and torture to qualify for asylum. While the definition of what qualifies for “persecution” for the purposes of asylum has been a debated point in immigration world, the new rules would provide additional limitations on the legal term by specifying, among other things, that “persecution” will not include all types of harm and will not include threats that have not been carried out.
There are serious concerns regarding the impact the new rules will have on refugees and would-be asylum seekers, further limiting their access to asylum in the US by limiting the grounds upon which they can base their claim. While expectations are high that incoming President-elect Joe Biden will roll back these and other restrictive immigration rulings of the Trump administration. It is not clear when such changes might take place and it is not clear if Biden will completely roll back all restrictive immigration policies.
The rules take should take effect in mid-January 2021. Additional information regarding the new rules can be found here:
If you are considering applying for asylum, please contact The Law Office of Lindsey J. Harris to discuss your case and to see how regulations may impact your claims.