The Homeland Security and Justice departments are on the verge of finalizing two new asylum regulations to deal with “frivolous” claims at the border. The Washington Times recently reported.
As some officials reportedly worry about another asylum surge like the caravans the nation saw at the border in 2018 and 2019, the new regulations could help prevent a repeat. The regulations are expected to be announced in the near future.
The Washington Times reports:
One would tighten the definition of political persecution, requiring migrants to show that their fear stems from their home government’s policies or opinions.
The other would finalize what’s known as the third-country transit bar, creating a presumption that if migrants from elsewhere crossed through Mexico en route to the U.S., they are not valid asylum-seekers. Otherwise, they should have claimed asylum in Mexico, which is generally safe for those fleeing persecution.
“This is about making the system work for the people that it’s supposed to work for,” a senior Homeland Security official told The Times. “There are other pathways forward for people who want to come here for economic reasons … But gaming the asylum system and our humanitarian mission for the purpose of economic betterment is simply outside what we should be doing.”
To win asylum, aliens are supposed to have faced or have a well-founded fear of facing persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group, and whose home government is either behind the persecution. Homeland Security officials say the terms have been stretched to now include gang intimidation or a general fear of crime.
“That doesn’t mean gang cases would never be approved, but it should give asylum officers, who work for the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, and immigration judges, who work for the Justice Department, clearer guidance for deciding cases,” the Washington Times said stated.
“To have this actually for the first time in black and white regulation is going to make such a difference because it’s going to take away from the activist courts the ability to surmise what Congress meant in the statute,” the senior official said.
Bogus claims are more than a bureaucratic nuisance, officials say. They clog the system, forcing valid asylum-seekers fleeing desperate circumstances to wait.
For more on this story, please visit the Washington Times.
Updated: Mon, Nov 16th 2020 @ 2:25pm EST