U.S. Asylum Policy is Changing and May Continue to Change

The Department of Justice is currently considering changes it can make to asylum policy. The main change would disqualify individuals who entered the country illegally. What that means is that individuals fleeing from their countries would only be able to apply for asylum at at designated U.S. ports of entry. Among other measures the DOJ is considering are:

  • Changing the “particular social group” asylum category to not include family;
  • Ordering immigration judges to deny applications for immigrants who crossed more than one country to reach the United States;
  • Changing how immigration judges weigh misdemeanors and barring immigrants who have two or three misdemeanors;
  • Ignoring pardons illegal immigrants have received from state officials.

The news comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled earlier in June that domestic violence and gang violence would no longer be grounds for asylum. It is apparent that many of the changes are aimed at barring Central Americans from receiving asylum.

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