Asylum Travel Ban 2023: Rolling The Dice
Recently, the Joe Biden administration released a new proposed law that will almost eliminate the seeking of asylum in the United States. According to observers and concerned individuals, this proposed rule referred to as the "Circumvention of Lawful Pathways," seeks to expel the chances of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. A possible option that should be considered first by refugees should be to seek asylum in neighboring countries. To this, concerned individuals and organizations have responded that there is no hope for refugees then. This is because, the supposed countries of refuge, have no adequate provision for housing asylum seekers. Hence, concerned organizations and individuals have interpreted this as a ploy to return refugees to the fears they were fleeing. As a result, it is seen as the reenactment of the "dreadful" immigration policies of Ex-President Donald Trump.
According to reports, the new rule officially released on February 23 2023, and the public will have limited time to air their opinion on it. The Biden administration aims to hasten the process of this new rule concerning asylum. Specifically, the new rule already got a nickname of Asylum Travel Ban: it would make it hard to impossible for asylum seekers who were not paroled into the US to qualify for asylum in the US if on their way to the US they transit through countries other than their home country.
The cause for backlashing and the airing of grievances by concerned parties is not farfetched. President Biden's campaign promises included the fostering of the "Dreamers" ambition and favorable asylum regulations for refugees. But recently, he has chosen to tow the path of Donald Trump to hinder the entrance of fleeing refugees into the United States. While this is by his judgment in favor of the United States, it goes against the very principles he was believed to stand by and which brought him into power. Hence, it is not an unusual thing for concerned parties to opine that they have played by the present administration.
Asylum is a process that is developed to help the most vulnerable groups of the population. Often asylum seekers are the ones who left their home countries without any significant possessions, they were uprooted from their homes, often suffered deep psychological trauma, and as a result very often they are not making their decisions based on logic and order. It would have been ideal if every asylum seeker would have time to consult with a lawyer, to study for themselves the process of asylum application, asylum laws and requirements, have time and money to sit and wait at the border for their appointments with the CBP agents. But very often in practice, this is just not the case. Very often asylum seekers are fleeing from violence, abuse, war. They do not think rationally. They're scared, they are under a lot of pressure to save their lives and lives of their children. Desperate, they make the decisions that seem right to them at the moment such as fleeing for safety, find shelter, come to the country that they believe provides the best protection in the world because they suffered so much. They come to the United States only to face bureaucracy and delays. Do not get me wrong: it is great that America provides opportunities for people and especially refugees. The due process created in the United states is one of the best in the world. But recently tremendous backlogs in the immigration system coupled with the fact that changing politics affect the asylum process became the pivot point in the US immigration.
So where do we stand at the moment?
At the moment, Biden Administration is still considering the Asylum Travel Ban. Currently, Title 42 is still in place, and hence CBP One App, allowing people to seek exemptions from the Title 42 Health ban on coming to the US is also still in place. In short: it is possible for many to come to the US seeking asylum using CBP One App. We do not know, however, what will happen with the CBP One App once Title 42 expires which is currently is going to happen in May.
Another extremely important point that has to be taken into consideration is that just on March 8, a Federal Judge ruled that Biden’s administration’s practice of releasing asylum seekers on parole rather than detaining them when they seek asylum at the border is unlawful. It means that Biden Administration may very well, rather than fighting for it proposed Asylum Travel Ban, return to the practice of mass detention of asylum seekers.
This situation shows how the process of seeking asylum at the border depends on the administration’s policies: from mass detention and separation of children from their families to mass release. It is fair to say, that one cannot be certain as to what to expect if they decide to seek asylum in the US: they may be detained, but maybe not; they may be paroled, but maybe not, they may be placed in the expedited asylum process in court, or maybe not. It is almost like rolling the dice. Certainly, it should not be so.
If you have questions regarding US asylum, call us to set up a confidential appointment at 917 8852261.
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