A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Friday, February 24, 2023

Proposal to Restrict Asylum Eligibility

The Biden Administration recently proposed to limit foreigners' ability to apply for asylum in the United States.  In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making entitled “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways”, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed to institute certain presumptions of ineligibility for political asylum on foreigners who across the southwest U.S.-Mexico land border without authorization.  The presumption can be overcome if, 

1) the foreign national was granted parole prior to arrival;

2) the foreign national presented himself/herself at a port of entry through a pre-scheduled time and place; or

3)  Sought asylum or other protection in a country they traveled through and received a final denial.

This proposal restriction will be effective for 2 years after the rule goes into effect. 

This legal presumption can be overcome under limited circumstances only, including if the applicant or his/her family member "faced an extreme and imminent threat to their life or safety, such as an imminent threat of rape, kidnapping, torture or murder; or were a victim of a severe form of trafficking."  The presumption also does not apply to unaccompanied children.

In short, unauthorized asylum seekers arriving at the Mexico border must prove that they have unsuccessfully applied for asylum in a third country before they are eligible to apply for asylum in the U.S.  This proposal has already generated lots of debates and controversies. 

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit www.1visa1.com to schedule a legal consultation.)  

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