Comment template below. Act now!
The U.S. government’s Covid-19 public health emergency is lifting in May, and it is expected to take the 2020 pandemic expulsion order, Title 42, along with it. Although this might seem like an advantageous time to restore the right to seek asylum at the border, The Biden administration has signaled what new, post-Title 42 limits to asylum might look like through the proposed Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule. KIAC has worked for many people seeking asylum from all over the world, and it is clear that most of them would not or could not meet the requirements of this proposed rule.
This rule would make asylum unavailable for individuals who did not apply for or have not yet received a denial of protection in a country they’ve traveled through on their way to the United States. Many of these transit countries are unsafe places for people to seek asylum. If you review a map of Central America, you will see that most of the countries a person travels through to reach our southern border are countries from which thousands of people are seeking asylum. It does not make sense, nor is it keeping with asylum law, to require people who have already suffered persecution to seek asylum in countries that have deplorable human rights records and ineffective asylum systems.
This rule also requires that asylum applicants use the CBP One App to schedule an appointment at the border. This requires a level of technology and technical literacy that many, if not most, asylum applicants don’t possess. In addition, the app makes it almost impossible for a family to schedule appointments together, therefore increasing the possibility of family separation. There are credible reported problems with photos of people with darker skin tones not being recognized by the app, and the possibility that transgender persons may present differently at the border than when their photo was taken. These situations will all lead to problems when people arrive at the Port of Entry.
Even if it allows them to seek asylum, the administration plans to subject many immigrants to expedited removal, an accelerated process that occurs while they are in Border Patrol custody. Asylum seekers subjected to this accelerated process would be exhausted from their trip to the border, disoriented from days in CBP’s holding cells, and unable to narrate their stories clearly to an asylum officer without meaningful legal representation. Those who fail “credible fear interviews” with U.S. asylum officers will be swiftly removed from the United States – resulting in more cases of vulnerable people removed to places where they face high probability of persecution, a human rights violation known as “refoulement.”
The Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule is restrictive and inhumane.
The Federal government is accepting comments about this rule for just one more week. We need you to act now! Please consider using one of our provided templates (below), or creating a comment of your own to push back on this inhumane rule. The steps are easy and can be completed in under 5 minutes.
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