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Trump Administration Issues New Third Country Asylum Rule

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UPDATE: On July 24, 2019, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of San Francisco, California issued a preliminary injunction which has temporarily stopped the Trump administration’s third-country asylum bar from going into effect.

Earlier on the same day, a U.S. District Judge in Washington D.C. declined to issue a preliminary injunction in a similar suit. However, the decision of the U.S. District Judge in San Francisco a few hours later temporarily halted the implementation of the third-country asylum bar nationwide.

Parties in both cases will likely appeal both decisions.

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On July 16, 2019, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security published a joint Interim Final Rule revising the regulations governing asylum eligibility.

The new third-country asylum rule bars anyone who travels from another country to the United States by land from qualifying for asylum unless he or she first seeks asylum in another country.

Mexican citizens who travel directly from Mexico to the United States to seek asylum are not impacted by the rule. Individuals entering the United States by air or sea are also not impacted by the rule.

The rule only applies to those who enter or attempt to enter the United States on or after July 16, 2019. The rule also lays out a few narrow exceptions, including an exception for victims of trafficking and those who have been denied protection in a third country.

The same day the rule was published, several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed lawsuits seeking to stop the rule from going into effect. The lawsuits also request a preliminary injunction, which would prevent the rule from going into effect while the lawsuits are pending. The groups argue that the new rule violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and asylum seekers’ due process rights.

This rule, if allowed to continue, puts the lives and safety of thousands of refugees seeking protections in the United States in grave danger.

If you have questions about applying for asylum the new Safe Third Country rule, other immigration issues, please contact Kolko & Casey, P.C. at (303) 371-1822 to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.