Building peace and security through human rights and gender equality.

We must remember requesting asylum is a legal right

Julie Leftwich

March 10, 2023

Last week the Biden administration proposed a new rule that would make most people arriving at the southern border ineligible for asylum. It would allow for speedy removal of anyone who hasn’t first applied for protection in another country they passed through, or requested an appointment through an app prior to arriving, with limited exceptions. While that might at first glance sound reasonable to some, it is contrary to U.S. obligations under national and international laws, and a violation of human rights.

The proposed rule, if adopted, will go into effect May 11. The public has until March 27 to comment on it.

Let’s make one thing clear: Asylees are refugees. A refugee is someone who flees their country because they are being persecuted due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. They register with the United Nations refugee agency and, if they are allowed to come to the U.S., do so only after a lengthy vetting process.

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