By Leslie Acevedo
ALBANY, NY – The American Civil Liberties Union filed a public comment this week, asking the Biden administration to forgo plans for what the ACLU calls an “unfair, unwise, and illegal” asylum ban, and urged Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to abandon plans to implement it.
Katrina Eiland, managing attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, notes the Biden administration knows the proposed asylum ban is illegal, but is choosing to ignore U.S. asylum laws and face instant challenges.
“The proposed asylum ban is illegal and would cause countless asylum seekers immense, avoidable suffering,” said Eiland, adding, “The Biden administration knows this and if they proceed as proposed, they are choosing to ignore U.S. asylum laws and will face swift legal challenges.”
“Instead of introducing a new unnecessary and illegal bar to asylum modeled on Trump bars that were rejected by the courts,” said the ACLU, “DHS should return to lawful Title 8 processing and could expand its recent parole programs to cover a broader range of people.
The ACLU also said transit countries cannot provide meaningful protection for most asylum seekers, noting, The NPRM appears to suggest that the rule’s requirement is … reasonable because Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador may be viable alternative places of refuge for asylum seekers.
“This discussion ignores extensive evidence—including recent reports from the U.S. Department of State—demonstrating that these countries are too dangerous for migrants and/or unable to accept significant additional numbers of asylum seekers, as contemplated by the proposed rule.”