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New limitations for asylum seekers due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A new measure is announced that grants powers to determine whether an foreign individual represents a danger to national security, which encourages and facilitates expedited deportations and complicates and hampers the benefits of Protection such as Asylum.

The new rule issued by the Trump Administration empowers the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to determine whether an immigrant represents a danger to the security of the United States. The rule also provides that immigrants from countries with outbreaks of communicable diseases are not eligible for protection.

This proposal will amend the existing Department of Homeland Security and Justice rule by clarifying that these departments may consider public emergencies based on health concerns, transmissible diseases, due to possible international threats of pandemic spread, when determining whether “reasonable grounds” exist to consider an immigrant a danger to the national security of the United States.

With this rule, immigration officials will be able to determine whether or not the foreign individual is eligible for a benefit. In addition, the rule states that the Department of Homeland Security may deport immigrants who apply for asylum on an expedited basis, if they are denied protection.

It is important to note that this measure does not affect individuals who are already in the asylum process. 

The new resolution will be published in the Federal Register.