Jeff Sessions’ New Proposal Could Be Disastrous for Asylum Seekers

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Ever-vigilant in his quest to fuck over immigrants, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s DOJ is drafting a proposal that would severely clamp down on asylum seekers, which was reported by Vox’s Dara Lind on Friday. According to Lind, the draft regulation as it currently exists would amount to a “sweeping and thorough revamp of asylum” policy.

The regulation is in the process of being evaluated and could still be subject to change, but Sessions’s goals are clear. Under the proposal, any immigrant that was convicted for illegal entry or reentry into the country would be barred from asylum. Here’s how Lind describes how the policy would work in practice:

In effect, under this new regulation, combined with the zero-tolerance prosecution initiative, no one would be able to come to the US and get asylum unless they presented themselves at a port of entry. Many asylum-seekers simply don’t have that option. Smugglers often prevent asylum-seekers from using official ports of entry, and many of those who do come to ports of entry are being forced to wait days or weeks, after being told there’s no room to process them right now. And asylum-seekers who come to ports of entry are often required to stay in immigration detention without bond until their case is complete.


While this provision would almost certainly be challenged in courts another proposal that instructs “immigration judges to consider how the asylum-seeker got into the US, and treat it as a significant factor in whether or not to grant asylum” would achieve a similar end. The draft also goes farther in codifying Sessions’ plan to essentially ban domestic violence and gang violence as grounds for asylum. It would also penalize Central Americans who don’t first seek asylum in Mexico as well as tighten the entire asylum process in a numerous ways.

As one source told Lind, the changes would be “the most severe restrictions on asylum since at least 1965.” In essence, thousands of Central American families who are fleeing dangerous conditions in their home countries every month would be told to fuck right off.


Clio Chang is a staff writer at Splinter.

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