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Administration Implements Legally Questionable Rule Barring Migrants Seeking Asylum


In mid-July, the Trump administration moved forward with a questionable immigration asylum rule requiring anyone passing through a third country (i.e. not their home country or the United States) seeking asylum in the United States to first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the United States border. Due to its questionably illegal nature, it will very likely face a number of court challenges. The interim final rule will take effect immediately as of July 16 and specifically states that any “alien who attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in the third country outside of their home country is ineligible for asylum.” Many have criticized the move, as it limits those who fear for their lives or safety, as well as persecution in their home country.


The rule does allow for three exceptions, including:

  • An alien who demonstrates that they applied for protection from persecution or torture in at least one of the countries in which they passed through on their way to the United States, whereby they received a final denial;
  • An alien who is a victim of a severe form of trafficking as defined by the law; or
  • An alien who has passed en route to the United States through a country that is not a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the status of Refugees, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, or the 1967 Protocol.

Its Effect & Legal Issues

The policy effectively bars immigrants from seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border; a practice that has long been in effect; and instead requires that they do so in the countries they pass through on their way to the United States. If this sounds confusing, there is a reason: its purpose is clearly to prevent anyone from applying for asylum at the southern border, as those coming through are coming from Mexico and Central America, even though it is well aware that these countries would not provide safety, or a safe asylum location. It is also riddled with constitutional issues; in particular, this is an issue that is in the purview of Congress; a legislative power.

Contact Our North Carolina Immigration Attorneys

Meanwhile, the administration is facing more criticism than ever over the conditions at the migrant detention centers. In fact, every day, new immigration issues come up that make it harder and harder on families desperate to establish themselves here in the United States; issues and rules that are clearly legally questionable and should be fought against in court.

If you have any questions about immigration law or are facing any immigration-related issues, contact a North Carolina immigration lawyer at the Hauter Law Firm, PC for assistance.



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