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Asylum Rule Change May Make the Situation Worse

(Arlington, VA) – The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice have announced an interim final asylum rule that denies asylum to most applicants arriving at the U.S. southern border after having transited a third country. This new rule – which includes a few narrow exceptions – is expected to take effect this week.


Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

“We have long argued that the president and Congress should work together to update the nation’s immigration laws – including the asylum process. America can and should honor its longstanding commitment to fairly and expeditiously consider the claims made by those seeking refuge – who cannot safely return to their home countries.


“Unfortunately, the court backlog of outstanding asylum claims has grown into the hundreds of thousands – meaning the system is no longer functioning as it should to adjudicate claims and protect legitimate refugees. This however, should not justify making the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers who arrive at our southern border ineligible to legally seek refuge in the U.S. In fact, making most asylum seekers ineligible is likely to perversely increase the incentive for unlawful immigration.


“Regrettably, Congress has been unable to address the root causes of the several symptoms we see developing along the southern border, and the president has again chosen to act through executive action. History has shown that we can’t fix the legal immigration system with executive actions alone. We need to actually fix the system legislatively. We need our leaders to work across the aisle on a broad response that includes increasing the number of immigration judges, reviewing the asylum process, and adopting reforms that go to the root of the problem – before people have made the long and dangerous trek to our border.”

For interviews with a representative from The LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4433