New asylum regulations slated to take effect could make asylum harder to obtain

Recently, we talked about the large job the incoming Biden Administration has ahead of it on immigration. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have committed to overturning a multitude of changes made to immigration policies and practices during the past four years. 

Unfortunately, a sweeping new set of regulations is still scheduled to take effect in the next few weeks. They involve people who are seeking asylum in the U.S. to escape violence in their home countries.

What will the DOJ’s new “Final Rule” do?

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a “Final Rule” that will place some asylees under even more scrutiny by immigration court judges. That includes those whose journey to the U.S. included passage through another country where they could have sought asylum but didn’t. It also gives these judges more latitude in dismissing asylum applications without a hearing. 

In a press release, the DOJ said that these reforms included in the Final Rule, scheduled to take effect Jan. 11, 2021, are intended to “more effectively separate baseless claims from meritorious ones.” It also noted that they will “streamline and enhance procedures for the adjudication of claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) regulations.”

The reforms included in the Final Rule will go in to place less than ten days before the Biden Administration takes over. It remains to be seen how long it will take to amend or reverse these changes as well as other immigration policies from the past four years — some of which cannot easily be undone due to the complex nature of the immigration system and the problems inherent in that system.

How can you protect your future?

It’s incredibly important to have experienced legal assistance, these days if you’re seeking admission to this country via asylum or another mode of immigration. If you or a loved one needs help with an immigration or asylum issue, seek help immediately.

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