Trump Admin: Asylum Seekers Must Ask Intermediary Countries First

Washington Free Beacon | 7/15/2019 | Charles Fain Lehman
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A new rule will bar foreign nationals from receiving asylum in the United States if they did not first apply in an intermediary country, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced Monday.

In practice, the rule would mostly affect Central American asylum seekers, tens of thousands of whom have flooded across the southwestern border in recent months. Those individuals would be denied asylum if they failed to first seek it in "at least one third country" along the way, according to a DOJ press release.

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Under current immigration patterns, this would mostly mean that individuals from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador would need to request asylum from the Mexican government, and be denied, in order to have a shot at asylum in the U.S. It is worth noting, however, that the rule covers all asylum applicants entering at the southern border, not just those originating in Central America.

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The new rule is a response to the continued crisis at the border. Immigration detention facilities and courts are swamped by huge numbers of new arrivals, which the DOJ says "corresponds with a sharp increase in the number, and percentage, of aliens claiming fear of persecution or torture when apprehended or encountered by DHS." The uptick in asylum claims may represent the spread of such fears in struggling "northern triangle" nations, but it...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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