Over 5,000 Asylum Ban Comments Submitted by Outraged HIAS Supporters
By Brian Zumhagen
Mar 27, 2023
As the public comment period draws to a close today on the Biden administration’s “asylum ban” proposal, there has been an unprecedented response from the HIAS community. HIAS supporters have submitted more than 5,000 comments to the Federal Register calling on the administration to withdraw the proposed restrictions, which would leave asylum seekers in potentially deadly situations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In its own comment, HIAS wrote that the proposed ban “violates the spirit of U.S. law and will separate families and lead to the return of asylum seekers to harm…. Our U.S. laws and the international treaties to which the U.S. accessioned are meant to protect asylum seekers and prohibit their return to persecution and torture.”
“U.S. law also explicitly guards an asylum seeker’s right to seek protection, regardless of how they arrive in the United States,” HIAS’ comment continues. “The rule would unlawfully deny protection to asylum seekers and require them to seek asylum in countries that do not have functional asylum systems and where they may still be in harm’s way.”
If the new asylum restrictions are enacted, the Biden administration is expected to begin implementation on May 11. At the same time officials reportedly plan to lift the COVID-19 health emergency, which would also end enforcement of Title 42 — the World War II-era public health measure which has led to more than two million expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border since it was invoked in March of 2020.