New Asylum Regulation to Drastically Affect Asylum Cases
On December 11, 2020, DHS published a final rule titled “Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review”. The rule, scheduled to go into effect on January 11, 2020, creates substantial procedural and evidentiary barriers for asylum seekers, including those fleeing gang-based, gender-based, and family related violence. Essentially, the rule will make it nearly impossible for many individuals to obtain asylum protections in the U.S. Some of the most shattering provisions include: making the credible fear screening more difficult to pass, allowing immigration judges to deny asylum without a hearing, narrowing the definition of terms such as “political opinion”, “persecution”, and “particular social group”, barring asylum for those who traveled through more than one country on their way to the U.S., restricting types of evidence asylum seekers may present, allowing immigration judges greater discretion to label applications “frivolous”, and restricting eligibility for protection based on torture. President-elect Biden can undo this regulation, however, unless congress formally disapproves of the regulation within 60 days legislative working days, his administration will be required to issue new regulations, which will take more time to take effect.