In its most recent attack on the due process rights of immigrants and the asylum system as we know it, this administration employs the cold, dehumanized language of bureaucracy as cover for its patently racist and xenophobic ends.
The newly proposed regulations – obliquely titled, “Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review” – include page after page of seemingly benign references to “streamlined” procedures, “expeditious consideration,” and “operational efficiency” that mask the cruel intent at their core, to further restrict the ability of righteous claims for asylum from being properly heard and adjudicated. The proposed rules subvert the intent of our asylum laws, which were born of a mandate to shield those who come to our borders seeking sanctuary.
The sweeping changes envisioned by these rules are startlingly broad and tactically efficient, leaving much at the discretion of low-ranking DHS officials while reining in the discretion of more highly-trained immigration judges. In brief, the proposed regulations baselessly narrow the grounds that one may assert to claim asylum while placing roadblock after roadblock in the path of one’s ability to have those claims properly heard in the first instance.
We will fight these changes every step of the way, starting with exposing and highlighting their inhumanity, their illegality, and their callousness. IJC will submit a public comment condemning and refuting this proposal – though the government has allowed a mere 30 days to do so – and we encourage all our friends, supporters, and partners to do the same.
Our humanity and our core beliefs as a nation are being put to the test in so many ways at this moment. Asylum – a welcoming of the world’s enslaved, mistreated, and beaten – is yet another facet of our fight for justice at home. We will not see it dismantled.