We are facing another blow to asylum, and we need your help.
The Trump administration's newest proposed regulation would gut what is left of our asylum laws. The new laws propose nearly a dozen new bars to asylum which will violate not only international treaties, but our own Constitution. This law would abandon hundreds of thousands of vulnerable families and individuals with nowhere left to turn for safety -- including the more than 300,000 people with affirmative asylum claims currently pending. (More information on the specific changes and what they mean for Friends is below.)
We have until July 15 to submit comments detailing our concerns about this law. The administration is legally obligated to respond to each issue raised in these comments. This process can be lengthy so the rule is not expected to go into effect until the fall at the earliest. With enough comments and public outcry, we hope to delay its effect even longer.
How you can help: Submit Public Comment
1-BY JULY 15: Submit a comment based on experiences you’ve had with Friends or based on how wrong we know these new regulations are. (see info below on how to submit a comment)
2-Share this page and information widely with friends, family, community members, and on social media-toolkit here.
3-Let local, state, and federal legislators know that we expect them to stand with us as we fight to #SaveAsylum
Where do I submit a comment?
Click on the “comment now” button and either enter your comment in the text box (must be fewer than 5,000 characters) or upload your comment as a PDF.
How do I submit a comment?
Below are some important tips to keep in mind as you are drafting your comment.
- Write comments in your own words. The information below is intended to help guide you and give you an example and ideas, but the comment should be in your original words.
- The most important thing you need to do is:
-Say who you are.
-Explain why you think these new asylum rules are bad, in your own words, no legalese necessary.
-Say why it is important to you.
- If you have experience in an issue area, say so. If you are a subject matter expert and want to offer comments on your area of expertise, explain why you are qualified to offer this perspective. Feel free to explain your educational and professional background, or attach a copy of your CV to your comment, but this is not necessary, so don’t let it stop you from writing from your heart. The same holds true for faith leaders, and for those of you who are called to work with immigrants by your faith. Feel free to talk about your faith in your comment.
Additional information on the proposed regulatory changes to inform your comments:
The Trump Administration wants to change who can seek asylum, and who cannot. For example, new bars to asylum include:
- The Proposed Rule Would Deprive Asylum Seekers of Their Day in Court. Immigration judges will be able to deny asylum without a court hearing, and base their decision on information taken by an asylum officer at the border.
The Proposed Rule would eliminate gender based asylum - shutting the door to anyone fleeing life-threatening persecution due to their gender, while undoing decades of legal precedent. Women fleeing rape and severe domestic violence, LGBTQ+ individuals facing deadly attacks, and those escaping other fatal gender-based harms in their home countries would no longer be able to find safety in the U.S. if the regulations take effect.
If asylum seekers passed through at least two countries prior to arriving in the United States or stayed in another country for at least 14 days prior to arriving in the United States.
The Proposed Rule Seeks to deny asylum to anyone who fails to file taxes or is late to file.
Being unlawfully present in the United States for at least one year or waiting more than one year after an asylum seeker’s arrival in the U.S. to file an asylum application. **At NSC we say, “No One is Illegal,” but we are fighting a racist government who does not see it that way.
The new regulations change how the United Nations Convention Against Torture is interpreted.
It significantly restricts asylum for victims of political persecution if it involves a nongovernment organization or a terrorist organization.
- The Proposed Rule Redefines Political Opinion. There is no reasonable basis to limit the definition of politician opinion and exclude the possibility that applicants’ expression of opposition to terrorist or gang organizations can qualify as a political opinion. This restriction utterly fails to recognize that many asylum seekers flee their homelands precisely because the government of their country is unable or unwilling to control non-state actors such as international criminal organizations.
It raises the bar for passing the initial screening interview for Credible Fear of persecution or torture in the individual’s native country.
- The Proposed Rule Will Make it Virtually Impossible to Succeed on a Particular Social Group Claim. Applicants for asylum and withholding of removal have to demonstrate that the persecution they fear is on account of a protected characteristic: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group (PSG), or political opinion. These regulations would essentially make it impossible for asylum seekers, especially those from Central America and Mexico, to win protection based on particular social group membership.
- Please include that the 30-day review period is too short, and request a 60-day time period for this, the norm for comments. We are not immigration lawyers, and it’s impossible for us to be able to understand all of the changes and the impact that these changes will have on asylum seekers, and on the asylum process. Plus we are still living in a pandemic, which adds another layer of complication to the review process.