Aliens convicted of illegally reentering the US, driving drunk or committing domestic violence will be barred from claiming asylum under a proposed regulation announced Wednesday by the Trump administration.
The proposal, which must go through a public comment period before it is finalized, lists seven criminal areas, including some low-level crimes, that would bar aliens from claiming asylum in addition to federal restrictions already in place. It also would remove a requirement for immigration judges to reconsider some asylum denials. This comes after the Trump Admin. claims that aliens are gaming the system so they can spend years in the US despite their ineligibility, in part because of a lower bar for initial screenings.
In an effort to stop the flow of aliens earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security, which manages immigration, has sent more than 50,000 migrants back over the border to wait out asylum claims under the Migrant Protection Protocols aka Remain In Mexico. Homeland Security officials also have signed agreements with Guatemala and other Central American nations to send asylum seekers there. The first families have already been sent to Guatemala, however most have decided to return to their home country, undercutting and disproving their original asylum claims.
In addition to these efforts, The Justice Department also has taken aim at so-called sanctuary cities, like New York and Chicago, which do not assist Homeland Security agents with immigration-related requests. New York officials, for example, say they do not believe immigrants should be deported for minor offenses and won’t notify US Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they have an immigrant in their custody. Attorney General William Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf complained about such policies.
“I think what we are doing is playing politics with public safety,” Wolf said recently in a Fox News Channel interview on New York laws. “That is really concerning from protecting the homeland perspective, making sure that DHS law enforcement officers have the data and the tools that they need to protect their communities.”
The proposed new rules would make asylum seekers ineligible if they were convicted of a felony or if they were arrested repeatedly on domestic violence charges. Other crimes include: "low-level" convictions for false identification or unlawful receipt of public benefits. Plus: smuggling or harboring immigrants, illegal reentry, a federal crime involving street gang activity or driving while under the influence of an intoxicant. It’s not clear how many asylum seekers are actually convicted of crimes, but 74,000 of the 143,000 people arrested by ICE officers during the 2019 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, were convicted or arrested on charges of driving under the influence, in addition to being in the US illegally.
The changes were made so that the departments “will be able to devote more resources to the adjudication of asylum cases filed by non-criminal aliens,” according to a joint release Wednesday by the Justice Department and Homeland Security.
For the full story, please visit the NY Post.
Updated: Thu, Jan 2nd 2020 @ 2:30pm EST