DHS and DOJ Adopt Interim Asylum Rule


Today the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") and Department of Justice ("DOJ") jointly published an Interim Rule in the Federal Register that imposes a new requirement on asylum applicants attempting to enter the U.S. at its Southern border. The interim rule requires anyone who enters or attempts to enter the U.S. through its border with Mexico to apply for protection in at least one country through which he or she traveled to reach the U.S. border. Failure to do will so will make the foreign national ineligible for asylum. Exceptions include victims of severe forms of human trafficking and those who travel through countries that were not parties to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, or the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Interim Rule notes the new requirement only applies to those who enter or attempt to enter the United States on or after the date of the Interim Rule. DHS and DOJ are accepting public comments on the Interim Rule until August 15, 2019.