The Biden administration announced a new rule that would limit the ability of illegal immigrants to claim asylum in the United States if they have passed through other countries without claiming asylum there first. The new rule was met with criticism from Democrats and immigration activists who accused the administration of violating the rights of asylum seekers.
The rule, which was announced on Tuesday, will make migrants automatically ineligible for asylum if they have crossed into the U.S. illegally and failed to claim asylum in a country they have already passed through. There are exemptions for unaccompanied children, and for those who can demonstrate they were trafficked or have an “extreme and imminent” threat to life or safety.
Officials from the Biden administration have defended the new rule, saying it is necessary as legal asylum pathways are being expanded under the administration. They argued that individuals who are provided a safe, orderly, and lawful path to the United States are less likely to risk their lives by illegally crossing the border.
However, some Democrats and immigrant activists have refused to accept any limitation on the right to claim asylum in the United States, even for those who have refused to use legal pathways.
The move was quickly compared to a Trump-era transit ban that was struck down in the courts. However, the administration has rejected that claim given the ability of migrants to use other pathways, including by going to a port of entry and making an appointment.
The new rule has been met with criticism from Democrats and immigrant activists who argue that it violates federal law and is a violation of human rights.
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler and Rep. Pramila Jayapal said, “The ability to seek asylum is a bedrock principle protected by federal law and should never be violated. We should not be restricting legal pathways to enter the United States, we should be expanding them.”
The new rule has also been criticized by immigration hawks who argue that it will not stop illegal border crossers from claiming asylum. The Border Patrol union called the move “smoke and mirrors.”
Former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, meanwhile, said the move was “oddly familiar” and suggested the move was long overdue. “Biden Admin had the ability to take this action 2 years ago,” he said.
In conclusion, the new rule limiting the ability of illegal immigrants to claim asylum in the United States has been met with mixed reactions. While some argue that it is necessary to ensure that individuals are using legal pathways to enter the country, others argue that it violates federal law and is a violation of human rights. The ultimate impact of this new rule remains to be seen.