The Biden Administration has put forward a proposed rule that, if accepted, would make it significantly harder for some asylum seekers to obtain asylum when they come to the U.S. This rule would prevent anyone who traveled to the United States after passing through another country from seeking asylum, unless they also first sought asylum in those other countries. For many asylum seekers, this “transit ban” could have a negative impact on their ability to obtain asylum and remain in the U.S. legally.
What is This New Rule?
The new rule, if implemented, makes it impossible for asylum seekers to obtain asylum in the United States if they passed through another country first without also seeking asylum there. This transit ban, as some have called it, would require asylum seekers to first seek asylum in every other country they pass through before they could seek asylum in the U.S. Only a small handful of people would be exempted from this rule, such as people with specific medical issues, people facing immediate threats to their lives, and unaccompanied children. The proposed rule would last for two years, with the option of being renewed at the end of that period.
Why is This Rule Being Implemented?
The transit ban is being implemented for several reasons. First, the Administration is trying to cut down on the number of cases in front of the immigration system, which is overloaded with cases that cause substantial delays in proceedings of all types. Second, it is meant to encourage people to seek asylum in the countries they pass through, rather than relying on human trafficking networks to bring them through those countries to the U.S.
What Might the Impact of This Rule Be?
First and foremost, the rule would cut down on the number of people seeking asylum every year by disqualifying thousands who do not meet the new criteria. It would also turn away many who might otherwise qualify for asylum, even if they claim they are at risk of harm if they are prevented from obtaining entry. However, there is a question if the rule will even come into effect, as opponents of the transit ban have already pledged to challenge it in court.
What Should You Do if You Are Seeking Asylum?
If you are looking to seek asylum in the U.S., you do not need to worry about the rule yet, as it has not come into effect. However, you should make sure to present yourself at a legal port of entry and follow all procedures for seeking asylum. You should also contact a lawyer with experience handling immigration law issues, who can help you with your case.
For more than 40 years, the Drucker Law Firm has been providing personal and quality legal services to individuals, universities, and corporations throughout the New York City and Tri-State area. We have represented three generations of clients in personal injury cases, as well as immigration and general litigation matters. If you have a legal issue related to personal injury law, please give us a call at (718) 458-1489 to schedule a consultation or visit our contact page.