Take Action Now to Protect Asylum Seekers

Call to Action

The right to seek asylum from persecution and harm is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the U.S. promoted and signed in 1948. 

Since Day One, the Trump Administration has launched xenophobic and un-American attacks against the U.S. asylum system. From separating families at the border, to attempting to ban asylum seekers who did not enter through an official port of entry, seeking asylum in the U.S. has become more challenging than ever over the course of the last three years. 

On June 15th, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security jointly released a sweeping series of proposed changes to the asylum system that, if implemented, would substantially dismantle the asylum protections built into our asylum laws, and make it almost impossible for anyone seeking asylum to find safety in the United States. Touching on everything from the basic procedural safeguards that should be afforded to the very definition of torture, these changes represent the biggest setback to our country’s commitment to refugees and asylees since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. 

In order to force the Trump Administration to reconsider these proposed changes before they become final, the public can submit comment between now and July 15th.  

Some of the proposed rule changes include: 

  • Completely barring asylum on the basis of gender, which would invalidate protections for individuals seeking safety from gender-based violence 
  • Changing the very definition of “persecution” and “torture” 
  • Allowing judges to deny asylum applications without ever allowing the individual their day in court 
  • Redefining some of the core grounds for asylum claims, including membership in a “particular social group,” which could have a dire impact on LGBTQ individuals 
  • Denying asylum to people who entered the country unlawfully, or who submitted their asylum application more than a year after entering the country without exceptions 
  • Barring an individual who travels to the U.S. through two or more countries from asylum, who has ever failed to file taxes, or who has ever withdrawn a prior application for asylum. 

LCCRSF unequivocally condemns these proposed rule changes, and we ask that others who support asylum seekers speak out now. Your voice is needed. Submit a public comment today and help us fight to keep these rules from going into effect. The deadline is July 15th, at 11:59pm EST.

After July 15th, and before the proposed changes can be finalized, the administration MUST review each and every unique comment that they receive; so your comments are important and can help make a difference for asylum seekers! 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Draft a comment using the sample language below. You can also check out the comments that have already been submitted here.  
  • Make sure to make your comment unique (don’t just copy and paste) because the system will scan for and discard duplicate entries. 
  • Go to this link to submit your comment by July 15th
  • Share this page with others and encourage them to comment. 
  • Raise your voice on social media by speaking out against the proposed rules. Don’t forget to use #SaveAsylum and #Comments4Asylum in all of your outreach! 
  • Follow LCCRSF on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the latest developments, and to find out more about ways you can help protect asylum seekers from further assault.  

Sample Comment

I write to express my strong opposition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Joint Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking: Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review; RIN 1615-AC42 / 1125-AA94 / EOIR Docket No. 18-0002/ A.G. Order No. 4714-2020. 

I object to these proposed changes that would effectively dismantle the U.S. asylum system and make it nearly impossible for anyone to find safety in the United States. They would deny most asylum seekers due process in the adjudication of their claims, and they would completely bar the granting of asylum on the basis of gender. These proposed regulations would change the very definition of what “persecution” means. They would make getting asylum because of one’s political opinion or membership in a particular social group exponentially more difficult. These rules also deny asylum to anyone who travelled through two or more countries on their way to the United States or who has ever failed to file taxes. These rules represent a complete departure from our country’s commitment to human rights, and to the protection of refugees and asylum seekers seeking safety at our shores. 

If these proposed rule changes are implemented, they would roll back decades of established legal precedent, and effectively eliminate the refugee protections that have long been accepted as a key part of our country’s values. 

[Insert your own opinions about why you support a strong U.S. asylum system and why you oppose the proposed changes. For example, why does abolishing the U.S. asylum system violate your personal values? Does your family have its own history of persecutionDo you know someone who is an asylum seeker or was granted asylum? Have you seen firsthand how refugees contribute to your community? How do these rule changes go against our values as a nation?] 

For these reasons, I urge you to rescind the Proposed Rule immediately and to, instead, advance policies that respect and uphold the legal right to seek asylum in this country for those in need of protection.