Trump admin rule further gutting asylum set to go into effect just days before Biden's inauguration
Impeached president Donald Trump will be out of office in 40 days—and he’s using every day until then to continue being a xenophobic, jerk of an asshole. The Trump administration has finalized a rule that advocates have previously said “all but guts the American asylum system enacted by Congress decades ago, but without a single act by Congress.” The rule is now set to go into effect just nine days before President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated.
“If enacted, this rule will send countless migrants to certain harm or death,” National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “The asylum regulations put forth by the Trump administration violate our obligations under U.S. and international law. Amongst a barrage of hostile policies and regulations, these rules are the most comprehensive assault on the right to asylum yet seen.”
American Immigration Council policy counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick said that under the rule, which was published in June, “none but the lucky few will be able to win asylum. The regulation creates near-total bans on asylum for wide swathes of people and herculean procedural barriers.” NIJC said ”changes to these regulations will potentially disqualify thousands of Black and Brown families, adults, and children—including survivors of domestic abuse, LGBTQ individuals, and survivors of gang violence—from gaining the protection they deserve.”
The organization said that nearly 90,000 comments were made when the administration opened the rule to public comment, the vast majority of them in opposition. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claim to have taken all of those comments into account in the rule they finalized,” but Reichlin-Melnick notes the administration “made just 5 substantive changes (one making things worse) and 13 non-substantive changes.”
NIJC is calling on Biden to reverse the policy, which he can do. But that doesn’t stop the human costs of this rule until that happens, or the human costs of the dozens of other rule changes the administration is trying to push through at the last minute. “It’s common for outgoing administrations to rush through last-minute rules,” ProPublica noted as part of a database tracking these so-called “midnight regulations.” What’s not common is the disturbing, cruel, and downright evil nature of some of this new shit, including a disgusting, hateful rule discriminating against unhoused transgender people.
On the new asylum rule, CNN reports “[t]he makeup of the Biden-Harris transition team reviewing the Department of Homeland Security appears to signal the incoming administration’s awareness of those actions, with Ur Jaddou, former chief counsel at US Citizenship and Immigration Services, as the team lead, and with the selection of Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary.” And that’s certainly the hope.