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In the last few years, numerous policies have been implemented that undercut the legal
right of Asylum Seekers to be heard in Immigration Court, also known as the Executive
Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). These are not laws, because they have not been
approved by Congress. They are merely “rules” or “guidance on application of the law”.
All of these have been challenged in Court as to their legality. Some have been
successfully overturned, some continue to make their way through the Justice System.
Taken together, they make it nearly impossible for those seeking protection in the
United States to successfully receive it.

The Third Country Transit Ban denies of the right to request asylum if the person has
passed through another country on their way to the US, even if that country is
dangerous or has no functioning asylum system. As of July 2020, this rule has been
blocked from implementation by an injunction by the Ninth Circuit Court as being illegal,
arbitrary and capricious. See East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr.

The Illegal Entry Asylum Ban denies of the right to request asylum by those who have
crossed the border illegally. This is in direct violation of our own Immigration and
Nationality Act Section 208(a)(1). As of February 2020, this policy has been blocked from
implementation by an injunction in the Ninth Circuit Court as being illegal, arbitrary,
capricious, and in violation of our international treaties. See East Bay Sanctuary
Covenant v. Trump.

The Security Bars and Processing denies asylum if the applicant is suspected to be sick
with a communicable disease because they are a “National Security Threat”. In the past,
the sick applicant was merely subject to quarantine until they are well. Asylum denials
are permanent.

The Prompt Asylum Case Review (PACR) and its companion program the Humanitarian
Asylum Review Process (HARP)
detain both Mexican and non-Mexican applicants for
asylum in Border Patrol facilities, where they are placed into expedited deportation
proceedings without due process. Placement into this program is decided by Border
Patrol agents instead of trained Asylum Officers, and lawyers are denied access to their
clients or to proceedings.

Metering limits the number of people who will be processed each day at a port of entry.
Before the border was closed due to COVID-19, the waitlist was 3-6 months. As of
September 2020, it was one year or more. Meanwhile, they are forced to live in informal
“camps” on the Mexican side of the border in squalid and dangerous conditions.

The Migrant Protection Protocols, aka Remain in Mexico, returns those who have filed
an asylum petition to Mexico to wait until their hearing date. Again, they must wait in

the “camps”. These numbers can be monitored through

The Zero Tolerance policy separated families who crossed the border together. Parents
were placed in court, sentenced for a misdemeanor “entry without inspection” or
similar, and labeled “criminals”. This allowed their children to be taken from them,
initially placed into cages under Border Patrol authority, and then turned over to the
Department of Health and Human Services who housed them in camps and shelters
across the country. Because of poor record-keeping, hundreds of the children were
never reunited with their parents. National outcry resulted in blocking the policy, but it
is known to continue on a smaller scale.

Changes in the legal definition of “particular social group”, “political opinion”,
“persecution”, “firm resettlement”, “frivolous”, and “significant possibility”, severely
narrowing the scope of eligibility for asylum such that very few qualify. The same policy
allows petitions that have passed the Credible Fear screening to be decided without a
court hearing. It also allows Immigration Judges to pretermit petitions without hearing
them. This “rule” was implanted in August 2020 and it is unclear if and how it will be
implemented. It can be found in the Federal Register, 85 FR 36264.

As of August 2020, a new “rule” severely restricts the ability of Asylum Seekers to
secure an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
. In addition to imposing
additional restrictions on their eligibility to apply for an EAD, the waiting period
between the filing of the application and the potential receipt of the EAD has been
extended from 6 months to18 months or more. The stated purpose is to disincentivize
participation in the asylum process, because the Asylum Seeker would be entirely
unable to support themselves for the years-long duration of the proceedings. This policy
can be found in the Federal Register 85 FR 38532.

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