Of course, Biden would not implement regulations like this, but because they follow this prescribed system where there has to be a proposal, then a notice and comment period, and then a finalization, it’s going to take several months for the Biden administration to reverse or backpedal on those regulations.
These regulations are 420 pages long. I discussed all the information you need to know in a Facebook Live with Lindsay Gray, who runs a nonprofit called Vecina, which helps provide pro-bono representation to asylum seekers.
Follow the link below to watch:
To summarize, the new rules completely reduce eligibility for asylum.
Expedited Removal Hearings
People who are apprehended at the border have usually gone through a credible fear interview process. Then if they passed their interview, they get released from the detention center and then they prepare for their full-fledged asylum hearing.
Now, they’re trying to raise the bar on that asylum interview — the credible fear interview. They’re taking it from a significant probability of persecution to a reasonable probability for persecution. What does that mean? That means you have to prove that it’s more than 50% likely that you’ll be harmed in your country.
This does not apply to people who file their asylum applications before these regulations go into effect.
This is only going to affect cases filed after January 10th.
With this higher bar, you have to prove it’s more likely that you’re going to get persecuted. It’s easier to get what’s called a “frivolous finding,” which means you’re making it up.
Let’s say you’re afraid of something and you know that circumstances have changed in your country and you ignore that fact and apply anyway, that would be a willful blindness.
They’re slashing eligibility based on political opinion eligibility, political opinion persecution and particular social group persecution.
So LGBTQ+ claims, domestic violence claims, political persecution, and basically the vast majority of claims out of Central America are going to be affected through these regulations.
Now it’s going to be harder to show that you cannot internally relocate in your country reasonably. They will have a higher expectation that you just move to another city. Even though previously, all you had to do was show that that was not reasonable.
There’s now discretionary denial for adjudicators and judges to deny asylum just because they feel like it. We’ll see what happens if and when Biden can roll these regulations back.
There’s over 1.2 million cases pending in the immigration court system. The reason for that is because Trump revoked the enforcement priorities the moment he took office, and he said, “Everyone’s who’s undocumented who’s apprehended under my presidency gets put into deportation proceedings.” Whereas before that, under Obama (who wasn’t actually that friendly to immigrants) they had priorities, where people with significant criminal histories or recent entries, for example, would be placed in removal, but people who had been in the U.S. for many years, had family ties, community ties and good moral character would not be placed in deportation. Since the Trump administration ended that, it really ballooned the number of cases in immigration court.