As the legal battle continues over President Donald Trump’s asylum-restricting policies, many Florida residents are concerned about the next steps for people seeking asylum. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration’s rules to go into effect while the legal challenges work their way through the courts. The administration is directing asylum officers and immigration judges to implement the rules moving forward. While it claims that it is cutting down on false claims, immigration lawyers and other advocates have warned that the policy risks putting highly vulnerable people at greater risk and denying their fundamental human rights.
It is expected by many observers that the legal fight will continue past the 2020 elections and that tens of thousands of asylum claims will be denied in the meantime. There are two ways that people seek asylum after crossing the border from Mexico. Some present themselves at a port of entry, but long wait lists have developed here as harsh limits have been imposed on the number of claims handled each day. People who cross the border extralegally then can turn themselves in to the first agents they encounter, asking for refuge.
Traditionally, asylum seekers would be interviewed to determine initially if they have a credible fear of being persecuted in their home countries before the case moves forward to an immigration judge. People are typically either detained or paroled in the U.S. Under the Trump rule, many people will not have that initial screening. Instead, they will be forced to stay in Mexico, despite risks that they may encounter there, before the immigration judge hears their case.
People with pending asylum claims or with family members who are involved in the process may be very concerned about trends in U.S. immigration law. An immigration attorney can provide advice and guidance for those navigating the process and work to protect their rights.