Make your voice heard about the new rule limiting asylum eligibility to only those who apply at an official US Port of Entry (POE). On November 9, 2018, the Administration issued a new rule to implement a presidential proclamation barring refugees from receiving asylum if they enter the US between ports of entry. Advocates immediately challenged the rule in federal court, and it is temporarily on hold as a result. However, the public still has the opportunity to submit comments on the rule, which the government is required to review and respond to before it becomes final. This is your chance to make your voice heard.
Below is a sample comment. It is critical, however, that you DO NOT simply copy and paste the model comment into the form you submit. Please reformulate the text, adding your own unique perspective based on your professional expertise or personal knowledge of people impacted by the rule, to explain why refugees, including survivors of horrific gender-based violence, should be allowed to receive asylum regardless of where and how they enter the US.
Comments are due by Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
“I am writing in response to The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security’s (the Departments’) request for comments regarding the interim final rule, EOIR Docket No. 18-0501, A.G. Order No. 4327-2018, published in the federal register on November 9, 2018 entitled: Aliens Subject to a Bar on Entry under Certain Presidential Proclamations; Procedures for Protection Claims. I strongly oppose the rule for the following reasons:
[Insert your own points here as to why you oppose the rule. For example:
Women and girls fleeing gender-based violence are in desperate need of safety from violent abusers. Those who do manage to escape embark on a perilous journey to the US with their lives hanging in the balance. By barring from asylum those who enter the US between designated Ports of Entry, the new rule unjustly and unnecessarily punishes the most vulnerable victims of violence who most often do not have the luxury of choosing where and when to enter the US. Upon surviving their flight from abuse and arriving at the US border, their immediate concern is requesting asylum with the hope of ultimately rebuilding their lives free from torture, sexual abuse, and death threats. The US should not restrict asylum for these individuals, but instead continue to extend the compassion that Congress intended in enacting our laws deeming refugees eligible for asylum regardless of their manner of entry.
Furthermore, the current process for applying for asylum at US Ports of Entry involves first waiting in line in Mexico for days, weeks, or by some accounts, months. Reports from advocates on the ground indicate that wait times are inconsistent from one port to another and even within the same port from day to day. Mexican immigration officials are also reportedly physically preventing refugees from approaching ports. This disorganized ‘process’ is posing great danger for survivors of gender-based violence whose traffickers and abusers can more easily locate and continue to threaten them in Mexico. Women and children sleeping outside or staying at shelters in Mexico while waiting for permission to apply for asylum are also particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, kidnapping, and other crime. DHS and DOJ should promptly withdraw this rule and instead promote policies that account for the dire reality traumatized refugees face and seek to maximize their safety throughout the asylum process.]
Comments are due by January 8, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
Thank you for your help on behalf of vulnerable immigrant women and girls who courageously flee abuse in search of safe haven in the US.