The Trump administration began to make substantial changes to the country’s immigration law and policies within weeks of assuming power. These policy changes have had a major impact on students, businesses, employers and immigrant families both within and outside the borders of the United States. This blog attempts a brief review of the most significant changes that have occurred in the area of asylum law, since Trump took office. Below are some of the ways the Trump administration has altered immigration in the United States:
Asylum Law Changes
The Trump administration’s most recent changes to United States asylum law require asylum seekers to ask for protection in another country, on their journey to the United States border or risk the denial of their asylum claims. As a result, thousands of immigrants coming from Central American countries have found themselves stranded along the Mexican border, as they wait to see if that country will approve their asylum claims. If the claim is denied by a third country, they can petition for asylum at the U.S. border. The most significant and intended effect of this change is the eventual denial of many asylum claims on the grounds that the asylum applicants have established enough ties in a third country and are, therefore, no longer eligible for asylum in the United States.
The administration also altered how asylum applications are processed. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services now prioritizes the recently filed asylum applications, instead of applications that have been pending for years. Critics refer to this policy as “last in, first out.”
Asylum Before the Trump Administration
Under the Refugee Act of 1980, immigrants who are fleeing from their native countries or countries of residence and are too scared to return could petition for asylum protections. According to the act, immigrants who are approved for asylum and have lived in the United States for one year are permitted to file an application for permanent residence. It is important to note that before the Trump administration’s changes, immigrants were allowed to apply for asylum, even if they entered the U.S. illegally, regardless of their asylum status in another country.
Do you need help resolving an immigration matter? If so, contact our dedicated legal professionals at the Law Office of Eshigo P. Okasili to schedule a consultation for your case. We can provide you with the outstanding legal representation you deserve.