“I think it is even worse. I think he knows that this could be the most revengeful parting gift he is capable of delivering to the human rights world and Americans who care!” Melanie Nathan
San Francisco, CA (December 10, 2020) – Today the Trump administration announced the publication of sweeping regulations that will make it virtually impossible for people fleeing persecution to obtain asylum in the United States. These regulations codify some of the Trump administration’s most draconian policies, many of which have already been rejected by the courts. They explicitly exclude from protection survivors of gender-based violence, children targeted by gangs, and LGBTQ+ people fleeing persecution and violence. They allow immigration judges to deny asylum applications without even holding a hearing. And they sweep away over 40 years of judicial opinions, acts of Congress, and treaties, creating a system so stacked against asylum seekers that, in effect, no one can qualify. Lest we forget he has already stacked the immigration courts with conservative Judges.
Organizations are condemning Trumps abusive parting gift:
The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) condemns the administration’s decision to move forward with this brazen assault on asylum, which communities around the country stood up to oppose when the regulations were first proposed in June. “These regulations are inconsistent with both the letter and the spirit of the Refugee Act, the statute that they purport to implement,” CGRS Director and UC Hastings Professor Karen Musalo said today. “They represent the dying gasp of an administration that has spent four years trying to destroy our refugee protection system. CGRS is prepared to take the administration to court once again to challenge these blatantly illegal regulations – which we are confident will be struck down.”
The Trump administration has rushed these regulations through the very procedures designed to ensure careful consideration of major federal policy changes. Despite the administration imposing a procedurally defective notice and comment period of just 30 days, advocates, asylum seekers, and allies rose up and submitted nearly 90,000 comments raising serious objections to the regulations when they were introduced over the summer. Less than five months later, the final version of the regulations includes just a handful of minor changes – making it clear that the administration chose to disregard public input. And although it is unjustifiable for such significant, far-reaching regulatory changes to be implemented fewer than 60 days following publication, the administration has decreed that these regulations will be in full force within 30 days.
Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human Rights condemns in the strongest terms these regulations:
This is inhumane and flies in the face of established laws, values and our standing in the world. We cannot forget Trump’s introduction to his presidential aspirations fraught with racist ‘birtherism’ and its xenophobic tones, as well as his direct attack on immigrants when he launched his 2016 campaign, calling all Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. That same divisive and false dicta reveals his ongoing mindset, to serve as this bookend to his presidency, where he will feel accomplished if his assault on asylum seekers is realized, to the point where they are absolutely eradicated. I think it is even worse. I think he knows that this could be the most revengeful parting gift he is capable of delivering to the human rights world and Americans who care! We cannot allow this to happen. It will send many back to abuses, persecutors, and even to their deaths. Especially hard hit will be LGBTQI asylum seekers who are criminalized for their sexuality and gender identity in over 70 countries around the world, so many depending on the USA for asylum.
As noted by CGRC:
The incoming Biden-Harris administration must act swiftly in 2021 to address the devastation of the past four years and launch a complete reset of our policies towards people seeking protection from persecution and torture. As a first step, these regulations and all other Trump administration asylum policies must be reversed immediately. Human lives will be at risk every day that Trump-era cruelty and chaos is permitted to continue.