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Statement on Policy Changes That Hurt Asylum System

SILVER SPRING, Md. — In the waning days of the Trump presidency, the administration issued a flurry of rules and policy changes that will further restrict asylum and refugee rights in the United States.

In response, Andrew Geibel, HIAS’ policy counsel, stated: “This effort to fundamentally reshape the U.S. asylum system with only days remaining in the administration is unprecedented. This deluge of policy changes will result in a top-to-bottom restructuring of our asylum system that will deny asylum seekers their day in court, put impossible deadlines in front of anyone asking for protection in the United States, and needlessly burden the most vulnerable with more red tape.”

The outgoing administration has engaged in rapid-fire rulemaking in the last two weeks, issuing a wide variety of changes to most aspects of the asylum system. These changes include drastically increasing fees in immigration court; finalizing an agreement with El Salvador to force asylum seekers to seek asylum there instead of the United States; and issuing the so-called “Death to Asylum” rule which would deny asylum to most everyone who seeks it. 

Geibel added: “HIAS calls on the incoming Biden-Harris administration to quickly reverse these last-minute anti-asylum changes and stop any impending immigration-related regulations.”

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