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HIAS Statement on Administration Change to Asylum Rules

SILVER SPRING, Md.-- The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have issued a new rule that fundamentally changes access to asylum in the U.S. by making it harder for many to seek safety and protection.

The rule makes any individual who does not present themself at a port of entry ineligible for asylum in the U.S. The government is issuing this rule while at the same time routinely denying asylum seekers access to the United States at ports of entry. This rule in effect closes our borders to asylum seekers, in violation of both U.S. and international law. Under our laws, people are not required to present themselves at a port of entry in order to claim asylum, and typically have up to one year to apply once they have entered the country.

In response to the new rule, HIAS Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Melanie Nezer said, “Many of the men, women, and children arriving at our Southern border are fleeing unimaginable violence. The U.S. has the capacity and a moral obligation to consider the claims of those arriving at our border. The U.S. has been processing asylum claims for decades. These individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and should have their claims heard.”

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Border Response