During a news conference on December 22, 2020, the U.S. president-elect, Joe Biden has stated that rolling back the damages done to asylum seekers in the U.S. by Trump’s administration will take months. Biden’s statement shows that he is willing to put in all available resources to restore the U.S. asylum system.
The outgoing administration, President Trump’s administration, has been accused of relentlessly attacking asylum seekers through many hard-to-meet policies and punishments. Due to Trump’s hard handedness, Biden’s camp has braved for a lot of work to be done before everything returns to what it should be.
J Eric Price is an experienced immigration lawyer from L.A. He worked for President George Bush and President Obama. His experience working with the government has forged relationships with government officials that give him an edge in quickly solving problems for his clients. Contact Attorney Eric Price via phone or email for any immigration-related issues. You can find contact details at the bottom of this article.
U.S. Asylum Policy Under the Trump Administration
The accusation made on Trump’s administration for destroying the U.S. asylum system is not baseless; there are facts and records to back it up. Subsequent paragraphs will detail some of how Trump’s administration has worsened the U.S. asylum system.
Ever since Trump became the U.S. president, he has been reducing the maximum number of asylum seekers accepted into the United States. He inherited a cap of 110,000 in 2017 and reduced it to 45,000 in 2018. He further reduced it to 30,000 in 2019. 18,000 in 2020. And 15,000 in 2021, the lowest cap ever recorded in U.S. history.
As if the refugee limit reduction is not enough, Trump imposed additional restrictions on any asylum seeker traveling through Mexico or Guatemala. “We’re looking at something very severe with respect to Guatemala,” these were exact words of Donald Trump. His strategy is to deport asylum seekers that come through Guatemala back to Guatemala to seek their protection there instead of the U.S. Thanks to Guatemala’s high court, Trump almost succeeded in coercing Guatemala’s government to sign the deal. His excuses were if Guatemala could let in so many refugees into the U.S. through Guatemala. The U.S. will deport the refugees directly back to Guatemala, irrespective of their country of origin. The same story goes for Mexico; take the “Remain in Mexico” policy as an example.
On June 11, 2018, U.S. immigration courts received an order from the then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop granting asylum to domestic abuse victims and gang violence victims. The order is cruelty in its highest form. To close borders and withdraw protection from people who are already victims of circumstances has never been a character of the United States. Instead, the country has helped the helpless and give hope to the hopeless throughout its history. Towards the end of 2018, a San Francisco-based federal judge, Emmet Sullivan, made efforts to block the policy, arguing that it violates immigration law. And that such policy should be the will of Congress, not the whims of the executives.
There are several more accusations, such as systematically prosecuting adult asylum seekers for misdemeanor illegal entry, limiting the LBGQT community members from qualifying for asylum, and limiting the number of asylum applications accepted each day (known as “metering”).
Joe Biden’s Plan for Asylum Seekers
Within his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden aims to achieve tremendous changes in the existing asylum policies of the United States. He wants to achieve an asylum system that welcomes those fleeing harm. His important asylum policies are but not limited to:
Ending Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
MPP refers to returning illegal or undocumented immigrants to the border or Mexico until their immigration proceedings have been completed and finally allowed into the U.S. The proceedings sometimes take months while the asylees are rotting away at the borders. Biden aims to end MPP and provide an alternative for the gradual integration of asylum seekers into society.
Raising Refugee Limit to 125,000 per year
Once he takes over as the president, Joe Biden will raise the refugee limit from 15,000 to 125,000. This policy means more than 800% increment within 3 months of assuming office.
Raising U.S.’s Admittance of Refugees to A Minimum of 95,000 per year
While the maximum number of refugees that will be allowed in the U.S. per year capped at 125,000, Biden will ensure to attract not less than 95,000 refugees through various sub-policies such as:
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS); for asylees from disaster/violence-ripped countries.
- The Wall; ending construction of Trump’s Wall, thereby saving up to $2.6 billion funds estimated to complete the project.
- Public charge rule. Biden will eliminate health insurance policies that hinder legal immigration.
Other asylum policies that Joe Biden’s plan for asylum seekers may affect include:
- Humanitarian Asylum Review Process (HARP)
- Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR)
- Asylum Corporative Agreements (ACAs)
- July 2019 third-country transit ban
- And November 2018 asylum ban, among others.
What Effect Will Biden’s Asylum Policy Have?
Biden’s Asylum policy will mend the already broken U.S. asylum system, making America safe for asylees until their case is heard and solved. The U.S. will not turn back asylees at the borders to the dangers they ran from or hold them in detention centers for months.
The U.S. has a backlog of more than 120,000 refugees, in addition to thousands of Iraqis who worked for the U.S. military, who are waiting to get into the U.S., and Biden’s Asylum policy will help some of these individuals get into the U.S.
The policy will also ensure that no one separate families at the border irrespective of the crime pinned on the parents/adults.
What Are the Next Steps?
While waiting for U.S. asylum reform to kick-off, refugees could seek asylum in their current country of residence and then present themselves for documentations and proceedings when the reform finally starts. They should also keep in touch with immigration attorneys for law-related updates on the reform policy.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
As mention earlier, J Eric Price is a renowned immigration attorney; he has over 20 years of experience in immigration and immigrant’s rights cases. He has won multitudes of cases and has helped thousands of immigrants win cases thought impossible to win. You can contact Attorney Price’s office with the following contact details:
Address: 700 Flower St #2925, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States.
Phone: +1 213-995-6655
Kindly know that you will book an appointment before consultation because of health and safety reasons. Thanks!