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Justice for asylum seekers demands fair and unbiased procedures in immigration court. Rather than provide that basic need, immigration courts have become the Trump administration’s laboratory to determine the fastest way to deport—rather than the fairest way to process of asylum seekers’ cases.

In a new proposed rule, the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) piles on new ways to turn immigration courts into deportation mills. This new proposed rule would:

  • Force asylum seekers to complete asylum applications within two weeks of their first hearing—even though many asylum seekers speak or understand English, are frequently detained and traumatized, have limited understanding of the complex asylum laws, and do not have access to counsel; people who cannot meet this deadline (even for reasons they cannot control) are not allowed to file for asylum.
  • Reject asylum applications if asylum seekers forgot to answer a question, did not have access to certain supporting evidence, or cannot afford to pay a fee.
  • Permit judges to submit their own evidence on the conditions asylum seekers would face if they were deported. This would allow judges who deny 90% of asylum claims to put their thumbs on the scales, denying asylum seekers their right to individualized determinations.
  • Allow judges to minimize or even exclude asylum seekers’ evidence from non-governmental sources, even though the U.S. government typically underreports the severe harm asylum seekers—including women and children—face.  

This rule would strip due process rights from countless asylum seekers. That is why NIJC, in partnership with Jones Day, has filed a comment calling for the immediate rescission of this proposed rule.