All You Need to Know About the New Asylum Rule

Many people flee their home countries because they fear being persecuted.  Until recently, such persons were able to request asylum protection in the United States by presenting themselves at the southern border. 

Now, because of President Trump’s new asylum “rule,” asylum seekers traveling through Mexico to get to the United States face an additional hurdle.  But don’t worry, we will explain how you can apply for asylum in the United States while the new law is in effect.  


In short, someone who wishes to seek asylum at the southern border after July 16, 2019, must apply for asylum in a third country through which that person travelled before he or she can apply for asylum in the United States at the southern border.  Maybe an example will help illustrate the meaning of this new “rule.” 

 

Let’s assume that Nitish is from India, and he has left his country because he has been harmed on account of his religion.  Rather than apply for asylum from outside of the United States, Nitish decides to go temporarily to Mexico so he can seek asylum at the southern border.  Before July 16, 2019, Nitish would be able to apply for asylum in the United States by presenting himself at the southern border.  Now, however, Nitishmust apply for asylum in Mexico and get denied before he can seek asylum in the United States. 

In other words, the new asylum regulation has created an additional bar to obtaining asylum in the United States – that is, you are ineligible for asylum unless you apply in a third country before applying in the United States. 

 

You might be thinking that this new asylum “rule” is unfair.  I agree with you.  Not only is it unlawful (for reasons we won’t get into here), but it places asylum seekers in harm by requiring them to apply in countries that may not be safe to begin with.  This means that asylum seekers will have to wait in dangerous countries while their applications are being processed.  Most asylum seekers will need to apply for asylum in Mexico before seeking asylum in the United States.  Failure to apply in Mexico will result in your application being rejected, and likely, deportation.

 

In addition to being unlawful and unjust, the new asylum rule increases the likelihood that an asylum seeker will remain unrepresented.This is particularly important because the percentage of persons who win their asylum cases is significantly higher for those who have an asylum lawyer representing them.  In fact, the odds of gaining asylum are five times higher when represented by an experienced asylum attorney.

 

It is important to note that the new asylum rule does not apply to all asylum seekers.  It does NOT apply if:

  • You are a citizen of Mexico;

  • You were denied asylum in a third country on your way to the United States southern border;

  • You can prove that you are a victim of human trafficking;

  • You are already in the United States; OR

  • You are seeking relief other than asylum (e.g., Withholding of Removal).

 

Okay, so what is the bottom line? 

 

In sum, if you plan to seek asylum through the southern border of the United States, and you travelled through a third country (e.g., Mexico), you MUST apply for asylum in a third country before you can apply in the United States.  Meaning, if you travel through Mexico, you must apply for asylum there and receive a denial letter before you can apply in the United States.

 

Our best asylum attorneys in California are dedicated to helping asylum seekers win their cases and obtain protection in the United States.  Our asylum attorneys are knowledgeable about the new asylum laws and can advise you on your specific case.  If you or loved ones are in Mexico and need help applying for asylum in the United States, contact our asylum attorneys for a free consultation.  Even if you do not retain us, at least you will learn more about asylum and how it applies to your specific case.