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HIAS, ADL Oppose Administration Changes to Asylum Laws

WASHINGTON — Today, HIAS and the ADL submitted a joint comment in response to proposed asylum regulations that, if implemented, would eviscerate the U.S. asylum system. The comment calls on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to immediately withdraw the proposed changes because they would violate the well-established human right of people to be able to seek asylum.

An excerpt from the 21-page document reads:  

We feel compelled to submit this comment, as the proposed regulations will utterly obliterate existing asylum protections. These regulations will leave a larger percentage of those fleeing harm in a permanent state of limbo... In a country that has, since 1980, made a codified commitment to make asylum accessible, this is an unacceptable outcome. 

“HIAS and ADL oppose the regulations, in their entirety, because they essentially eliminate asylum eligibility for almost everyone who seeks it,” said Naomi Steinberg, HIAS’ Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “We are especially concerned about the proposed changes to basic refugee protection principles that have been the cornerstone of U.S. and international refugee policy since the end of World War II. These changes would fundamentally gut our asylum system beyond recognition.”

Said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL, “The proposed regulations from the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security target the asylum process at nearly every step. They are the culmination of the egregious changes to the U.S. asylum system over the last 3 years, and if not stopped, threaten to dismantle the system altogether. The United States must learn from history and recommit to being a safe haven for all who seek refuge.”

The Trump administration must review each unique submitted comment before the regulations can be finalized. 

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