President Donald Trump’s team proposed Wednesday to restrict the protection of political asylum to foreigners who have been convicted of re-entering the country undocumented, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, among other crimes.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a joint statement the proposal to expand the crimes that disqualify a migrant to benefit from a grant of asylum.
In that sense, the Federal Administration intends that those convicted of a serious crime under state or federal law such as human trafficking be disqualified, as well as that illegal re-entry into the country after deportation be annexed to the list that restricts asylum applications.
Convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, domestic abuse, or identity fraud are also listed as grounds for rejecting an asylum claim, according to the proposal, the most recent devised by the Trump Administration to control the volume of asylum claims at the southern border.
The government argues that in this way “departments will be able to devote more resources to the adjudication of asylum cases filed by non-criminal aliens.
The proposal, which now moves into the public comment phase, also seeks to eliminate the requirement that immigration judges reconsider some previously denied asylum applications.
According to Department of Justice data for fiscal year 2019, of the 92,905 asylum applications nationwide, 18,813 were granted, or 20%.
In February of this year, the Trump government implemented the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program, which forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed.
In the nearly eleven months of program implementation, only 0.1% of political asylum applications have been approved.