The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint proposed new rule that will make it more difficult for criminal aliens to get asylum in the United States. The new restrictions on asylum seekers, if passed, allow immigration officers to deny asylum for certain crimes, including driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Wednesday, December 18, DHS and DOJ proposed regulations that would provide seven new mandatory bars to the current eligibility for asylum. Those bars will apply to aliens convicted of:
1. A felony under federal or state law
2. An offense under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A) or § 1324(a)(1)(2) (Alien Smuggling or Harboring)
3. An offense under 8 U.S.C. § 1326 (Illegal Reentry)
4. A federal, state, tribal, or local crime involving criminal street gang activity
5. Certain federal, state, tribal, or local offenses concerning the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant
6. A federal, state, tribal, or local domestic violence offense, or who are found by an adjudicator to have engaged in acts of battery or extreme cruelty in a domestic context, even if no conviction resulted
7. Certain misdemeanors under federal or state law for offenses related to false identification; the unlawful receipt of public benefits from a federal, state, tribal, or local entity; or the possession or trafficking of a controlled substance or controlled-substance paraphernalia
The Trump administration has proposed or passed other new restrictions on asylum seekers this year including “Remain in Mexico” or MPP, that requires lawful asylum-seekers from Central America to wait in Mexico, often in dangerous conditions, until their court date in the United States. Over 60,000 asylum-seekers are currently waiting in Mexico for a decision to be made in their case, a process that can take over a year.
Immigration attorneys Mario Godoy of Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-6369.