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Congress slams new rule that 'will lead to more deaths and suffering' for asylum-seekers

The Trump administration’s new rule for asylum-seekers is ‘patently unlawful,’ the ACLU said.

By Dan Desai Martin - July 15, 2019
Donald Trump

The Trump administration’s new rule barring asylum-seekers from seeking safety in the United States could put some families in further danger, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) said Monday.

“Asylum seekers — who fled their countries from violence, poverty, and persecution — have a legal right to claim asylum here in the US,” the CHC wrote on Twitter. “The new rule will lead to more deaths and suffering.”

On Monday, the Trump administration announced a new rule to drastically scale back the ability of asylum-seekers from many Central American countries to apply for asylum in the United States. The rule — unilaterally implemented by the Trump administration without congressional input — will prevent any person who passed through another country before reaching the U.S. from applying for asylum here. According to the Associated Press, the rule even applies to unaccompanied children.

The rule threatens families fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, among other countries.

The ACLU immediately announced their intention to take the Trump administration to court over this new rule.

“This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU, said in a statement. “The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger,” Gelernt added.

Under both U.S. law and international agreements, the federal government has a legal obligation to provide protection and certain rights to people who arrive seeking asylum, NBC News reported.

In May, Politico first reported that the administration was planning to implement such a rule. At the time, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), first vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told Shareblue Media that such as effort was meant to “cater to the xenophobic part of his [Trump’s] base.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told Shareblue in May that the rule was evidence of  Trump’s “bigotry and xenophobia.”

With the finalization of the rule, Trump adds to a litany of attacks on immigrants. According to the CHC, this time the Trump administration is “intentionally closing the door on the most vulnerable.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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