Human Rights First Comment on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security’s Interim Final Rule, “Securing the Border”

Human Rights First Comment on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security’s Interim Final Rule, Securing the Border, DHS Docket No. USCIS-2024-0006

Human Rights First submits the following comment in response to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security’s (“the Departments”) Interim Final Rule, Securing the Border (“Interim Final Rule”), incorporating and providing for the implementation of President Biden’s proclamation of the same name (“the Proclamation”). Human Rights First requests the Departments publish a notice in the Federal Register withdrawing the Interim Final Rule.

The Interim Final Rule represents an aggressive expansion of the Departments’ Circumvention of Lawful Pathways (“CLP Rule”) manner of entry bar, with fewer exceptions, higher standards, and a laser focus on keeping the Credible Fear screen-in rate lower (and more politically palatable). As reported by asylum seekers to Human Rights First, U.S. officers have said, “There is no asylum” and that “the border is now closed.”

It is nearly identical to a Trump administration interim final rule already found to be unlawful by the federal courts, despite the Departments’ strenuous exhortations to the contrary. Formally and functionally, the Interim Final Rule is more restrictive than the Trump administration ban because it eliminates the long-required credible fear referral safeguards, invents a higher standard for screening for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) eligibility, and effectively limits access to asylum to those who can access and secure a CBP One appointment and survive in Mexico long enough to present themselves at a port of entry at the appointed time. The Interim Final Rule denies equal access to asylum and is inconsistent with federal law and the United States’ treaty obligations.

This politically motivated rulemaking from the Departments betrays the United States’ commitments to refugees and the commitments made by the Biden-Harris administration. The Departments must withdraw it, and instead, as Human Rights First has detailed in its recommendation reports, strengthen and improve the asylum system.

Download the full comment below.


Published on July 2, 2024


Related Posts

Seeking asylum?

If you do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status, we can help.