The Department of Justice on Thursday, published their final rule for the department’s procedures on Aliens claiming asylum which has the left upset because they seeing a tightening of the immigration process under President Donald J. Trump that is now apparently limiting the claims people can make for why they are afraid for their lives and need to move to America.

The DOJ is removing the power of fear claims, under their newest procedures and sending people in front of judges to prove they are in fear, to be given asylum. Those are two of the major contested changes to the new procedures, including removing Obama era procedures dealing with NATO military members, or who aliens have a “disability that renders it impractical to proceed with the examination under the Act”, and more legal loopholes that made immigration wide open for people.

The new rules go into effect Friday, Dec. 11, and according to Human Rights Watch, partners with the radical far-far left Ford Foundation, the announcement specifically changes definitions of what they call “social groups,” and the left, whose response to the Friday changes follows, is not happy.

  1. § 208.1(c) – The proposed rule would radically change the definition of a “particular social group,” making it virtually impossible for a person who is a member of a social group other than the four specified in the refugee definition (race, religion, nationality, and political opinion) from ever qualifying for asylum.

One of the nine excluded social groups are people involved in “interpersonal disputes of which governmental authorities were unaware or uninvolved.”Another of the nine excluded social groups are people who have past associations or activities with criminal or terrorist groups. People who are targeted for criminal activity because of their perceived wealth or affluence (208.1(f)(v)) would not be recognized as a social group.

  1. § 208.1(d) – The proposed rule defines “political opinion” in a way that appears designed to exclude refugees who fear persecution based on their political opinion
  2. § 208.1(e) – The proposed rule redefines “persecution” so that it is limited to exigent situations.
  3. The exclusion of evidence in support of an asylum claim because it might “promote cultural stereotypes” would threaten the ability of LGBT and women asylum seekers, in particular, from presenting evidence to support their claims.
  1. § 208.18 – The proposed rule imposes a nearly impossible evidentiary burden on those seeking Convention against Torture protection.
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An asylum seeker seeking protection under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment would have to prove that a government official who has inflicted or acquiesced to torture has done so “under color of law” and is not a “rogue official.”

(Read their full list of concerns HERE)

From the federal register on the topic,” The decision to adopt such a regulatory scheme was made on the assumption that it would not “disrupt[] the streamlined process established by Congress to circumvent meritless claims.” Regulations Concerning the Convention Against Torture, 64 FR at 8485.”

From the “Public Comments” section of the federal register, the reaction from the far left leading group Human Right Watch gives us some indication of the focus of the proposed changes:

“Human Rights Watch urges DHS to withdraw the proposed rule in its entirety.

The proposed rule appears designed to create insurmountable procedural barriers, evidentiary burdens, and qualification standards to prevent three groups, especially, from being able to exercise their right to seek and enjoy asylum in the United States: Central Americans fleeing gang violence; women fleeing domestic abuse; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. That said, this regulation would set bars that would make it exceedingly difficult for all categories of people who qualify for and deserve asylum to be recognized as refugees and protected.

The HRW reaction possibly explains the increase in Immigration Judges under Trump, to keep the process streamlined under his administration, unlike under Obama’s,  and further explains in why in Section Three how the DOJ remade the Obama Era Immigration laws: “REMOVE AND RESERVE DHS-SPECIFIC PROCEDURES FROM DOJ REGULATIONS”.

The full Press Statement from the Department of Justice from Thursday follows:

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Publish Final Rule on Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal
Today, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security (collectively, the Departments) announced the forthcoming publication of a Final Rule that will streamline and enhance procedures for the adjudication of claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) regulations.

The Final Rule, consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), will enable the Departments to more effectively separate baseless claims from meritorious ones. This will better ensure groundless claims do not delay or divert resources from deserving claims, and in particular, will better ensure the security of our nation’s borders by facilitating the efficient review of claims in a manner consistent with the law and the integrity of our immigration system.

The Final Rule addresses public comment received following publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and codifies amendments to multiple provisions of the Departments’ regulations. The rule takes effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is scheduled to occur on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.

The Final Rule makes the following changes to the Departments’ regulations:

Amend the regulations governing credible fear determinations so that individuals found to have such fear will have their claims for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the CAT adjudicated by an immigration judge in streamlined proceedings, rather than in immigration court proceedings conducted under section 240 of the INA;
Permit immigration judges to pretermit asylum applications without a hearing if the application does not demonstrate prima facie eligibility for relief;
Clarify when an application is “frivolous”;
Clarify standards for the adjudication of asylum and withholding claims including amendments to the definitions of the terms “particular social group,” “political opinion,” “persecution,” and “firm resettlement”;
Outline factors, including an exemption for children under 18 for the factor regarding unlawful entry or attempted unlawful entry, for adjudicators to consider when making discretionary determinations;
Clarify the standard for determining the acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity under the CAT regulations;
Raise the burden of proof for the threshold screening of withholding and CAT protection claims from “significant possibility” to a “reasonable possibility” standard;
Apply bars to asylum and withholding when making credible fear determinations; and
Clarify the requirement to protect certain information contained in asylum applications, applications for withholding of removal under the INA, applications for protection under the regulations implementing the CAT, and applications for refugee admissions.

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