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Media Inquiries

Contact NIJC Communications Director Tara Tidwell Cullen at (312) 833-2967 or by email.

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) categorically rejects the Trump administration’s newest proposed rule that threatens to deal a fatal blow to  the U.S. asylum system, which has already suffered three years of coordinated attacks. This regulatory wall would block access to protection for people and families fleeing persecution.

“This proposed rule is an illegal and naked attempt by the president to attack immigrants and refugees and try to distract Americans from his failure to lead the country through a global pandemic which has cost over 100,000 lives, and from his violent attacks on peaceful protesters demanding racial justice,” said NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy. “Asylum seekers are children, adults, and families that our government is sworn to welcome and protect — not political scapegoats to target every time poll numbers plummet.”

The proposed rule would:

  • Ban all claims to asylum arising out of gender-based harm, affecting countless women and LGBTQ asylum seekers fleeing horrific violence
  • Ban all claims to asylum arising out of gang violence and recruitment, despite an internationally recognized crisis that has propelled Central American nations to war-level murder rates due to gang violence
  • Ensure fast-track deportation for asylum seekers by drastically raising the burden they face to prove their claims in their initial interviews
  • Annihilate claims of well-founded fear of future persecution by including a perverse requirement that applicants show direct failure of their government to intervene
  • Breach confidentiality requirements that enable asylum seekers to safely disclose their fears and the violence they suffered to asylum officers and judges, likely chilling countless people from sharing their stories

“While the worst impact will be felt by Central American asylum seekers, whom the administration clearly is trying to ban entirely, this proposed regulation would create insurmountable barriers for all asylum seekers, even for political asylum claims that have long been recognized under U.S. law,” said NIJC Associate Director Ashley Huebner.

Before this rule takes effect, it is subject to a 30-day comment period during which organizations and community members can submit their concerns to the Federal Register. NIJC is preparing comments calling for immediate rescission of this proposed rule, which violates decades of U.S. and international law.