In breaking news, the Trump Administration just announced major changes to our nation’s asylum rules.
Today on Jay Sekulow Live, we discussed a major new change to our asylum rules that would require most migrants seeking entering through America’s southern border under an asylum claim to first seek asylum in one of the countries they pass through to get to the U.S.
In other words if you’re traveling up through Central America, once you reach a country where you are physically safe and no longer in harm’s way, you must apply for asylum there first, before you can come to the U.S. and ask for asylum. If that application for asylum is denied, then they are eligible to apply in the United States.
As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli explained:
“The new rule is intended to avoid abuse of the asylum system which is overwhelming parts of the system, even while the border is overwhelmed, by instituting a requirement that people who come to our border and want to apply for asylum must have already applied and been denied at a country they passed through. Asylum is about safety, not a choice of forum. It’s not forum shopping. The idea is you want to get people safe and this is something America’s been very generous about in the past and yet it’s being fraudulently abused right now, and it’s part of what’s causing the crisis at the border.”
It’s simple. If your life is in danger and you get away, claim asylum in the first safe place you land. If you were in danger in Nicaragua and you make it to Mexico, apply for asylum in Mexico.
Obviously if someone is being trafficked against their will, they wouldn’t have that opportunity and would be able to seek asylum here.
The new rule is intended to stem abuse of our asylum laws. If a migrant is truly in danger in their home country and needs asylum, then they should seek asylum in the first safe harbor they reach. Asylum is not about a quick entry into the country of your choice – particularly the one with the most benefits. It’s about safety and security.
You can listen to the full episode here.
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