Attempts to Restrict Asylum in the U.S. Betray America’s Legacy

July 15, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration announced a new rule today that would bar many individuals seeking protection in the United States from being able to apply for asylum.

The new rule would prevent individuals who are fleeing persecution and enter the country across the southern U.S. border with Mexico from seeking asylum in the United States. This change will effectively ban anyone who isn’t from Mexico or Canada from qualifying for asylum in the United States unless they arrive by airplane. It will also force many people who are fleeing persecution in their home countries to seek protection in countries such as Mexico with limited asylum protections, where they will face serious threats to their safety.

The following statement is from Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council:

“For generations, the United States has opened its doors to individuals from around the world seeking safety and protection. The Trump administration is attempting to rewrite asylum law to close the doors on vulnerable people from around the world, causing chaos and uncertainty by preventing anyone arriving at the southern border who transited through a third country from qualifying for asylum in the United States.

“We should not be afraid to embrace our humanitarian obligations in a way that respects the rule of law. We have a rigorous process for seeking asylum. Rather than put lives at risk, we should strengthen our processes to ensure they are robust, timely, and fair for all.

“We should honor our American tradition of holding out a hand to families seeking safety. This new rule sends the opposite message—that the United States is no longer a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution. The administration’s sweeping announcement will put many families in grave danger.”


For more information, contact:

Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526.

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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