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The Biden administration has proposed a new rule that dramatically limits access to asylum for people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border and violates U.S. and international law. The rule — published with only a 30-day window for the public to provide comments — restricts asylum access only to people who were granted prior permission to come to the United States, are able to make an appointment to present themselves at the border using an online app, or previously sought asylum in a country or countries through which they transited.

This rule threatens to undermine asylum protections for generations to come and pro bono attorneys and legal practitioners are in a unique position to speak out to prevent its implementation. We encourage legal practitioners to submit a comment drawing on your experience to demonstrate how this rule would harm people seeking asylum and undermine the right to asylum.

Watch our webinar

NIJC experts explain how the proposed asylum ban harms asylum seekers and guide the legal community in drafting comments to the Federal Register. Watch the webinar recording:


Get the comment template

NIJC has created a template for pro bono attorneys and other members of the legal community as a starting place to draft your comments opposing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Each comment must be unique in order to be reviewed, so it is very important to individualize your comment and NOT merely copy and paste from the template.

Submit your comment

Once you have modified your comment, you can save it as a PDF, and submit your comment online to the Federal Register (we recommend uploading the PDF version of your comment to the form). Comments to the Proposed Rule are due at 11:59 pm ET on March 27, 2023.

If you are not a member of the legal community, you can still speak out against the rule and submit your comment using this click-to-comment tool for the general public hosted by the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Justice Campaign.

How expedited removal and the asylum ban harms asylum seekers

The Biden administration plans to force asylum seekers through an expedited removal process within days of their arrival while they are still in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Families forced through this process in family detention could be deported in less than 20 days. CBP and ICE detention facilities become deportation factories when people are forced through expedited removal and subject to the asylum ban while detained. Here is a chart demonstrating the process through the eyes of Ana, an asylum seeker:

A chart outlining how an asylum seeker arriving at the border must navigate the complicated expedited removal process and asylum ban. Most routes lead towards rapid deportation.