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This article was originally published on November 25, 2020.

CONTACT: Rachel Pak
[email protected]; 571-550-9162

Today, the outgoing administration proposed two rules that would speed up the deportation machine that immigration courts have become, sending immigrant survivors of gender-based violence back into danger. The first rule would all but end continuances for individuals with pending cases, including survivors who are on the U visa waitlist or applying for other forms of life-saving relief. It would also effectively prevent many asylum seekers from finding legal counsel. For survivors with removal orders, the second rule would severely curtail their ability to reopen cases, even if new evidence is presented.

“Over the past four years, the administration’s dehumanizing policies have transformed the immigration courts into conveyor belts in a deportation machine that rapidly returns people to violence. If implemented, today’s rules would ensure that the conveyor belt moves quickly, with no regard for the life or death situations in which survivors often find themselves,” said Archi Pyati, Tahirih Chief of Policy and Communications. “These proposed rules, regardless of their impact under the incoming administration, are a stark reminder of the invisible wall that’s been created under this administration to shut the door on survivors fleeing violence. The work is not over yet— there is a long road ahead of us to undo the immense harm of these policies and we must keep pressing on.”

Comments for both proposed rules are due on December 28, 2020. Tahirih will file comments opposing these proposed regulations and will continue to challenge policies that unnecessarily and cruelly harm survivors of violence who need protection.

Archi Pyati is available for comment on this topic. Please contact [email protected] to arrange an interview