Make your voice heard with a public comment
A new rule will make it harder for asylum seekers to get asylum in the USA. You can use your voice to make a public comment and stand up for asylum seekers.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) have published a proposed new rule about asylum claims. The public comment period opens today for 30 days.
It is very hard and takes many years to make a successful application for asylum in the USA. Most asylum seekers are refused asylum. Even more do not even get the opportunity to apply.
The proposed new rule will make it harder for asylum seekers to get asylum because:
- It will allow judges to make some decisions without giving a hearing to the asylum seeker if the judge decides there is not enough “prima facie eligibility for relief.” That means the judge can dismiss an asylum request if he or she thinks that persecution or fear of persecution is not obvious right away.
- It will not allow fear of harm by a known persecutor or fear of gender-based harm. This means violence against women and LGBTQ people and any gang violence will not be accepted as reasons to apply for asylum.
- It will allow new reasons to deny claims, for example if a person entered the USA unofficially or because they have not paid taxes.
- It will include more requests for asylum under the definition “frivolous,” including reasons that are not thought to be serious enough because they have not been mentioned in the law.
- It will increase the demand for proof, which can be impossible for asylum seekers who have fled violence and death threats.
Exercise your right to be heard
Do you want to object to this proposed rule with an official comment?
When a federal agency proposes a new regulation, it must ask for comments from the public. Anyone can make comments in support of or against a new regulation or rule before it becomes a law.
It is easy to make a public comment. For this proposed rule, you can make a comment:
- Directly on the federal register page
- On Regulations.gov, the government website. You can search for this rule (using RIN# 1615-AC42) and other rules on the home page, or go straight to this rule and select “Comment now”.
- By mail to : Lauren Alder Reid, Assistant Director, Office of Policy, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1800, Falls Church, VA 22041. Mention RIN# 1615-AC42 on your correspondence. Mail your letter well before the deadline so it receives a postmark before July 15th.
You have 30 days from June 15 to make your comment. The comment period will close on July 15, 2020. Read the US government’s tips for submitting effective comments. Learn about other ways to use your voice to advocate for change.
What to say
Say what you believe and give a good reason for why you believe it. For example:
State your belief
- You may think that the new rule violates international and US asylum law.
- Or you may believe that the rule goes against the human rights and justice that all Americans believe in.
- Perhaps you oppose all the restrictions and challenges that have been imposed on asylum seekers by the Trump administration, and you think that this new rule appears to be another attempt to stop people from receiving asylum.
Give your reason
You could say your reason for any of these beliefs is that all individuals have the right to seek protection from persecution, and the United States of America has committed itself to protecting this right through its ratification of the Refugee Convention and Protocol, and the Convention Against Torture.
Try to use your own words, but it is okay to use these words, too, if they express what you believe!