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EOIR and USCIS issue communicable-disease security bars to asylum and withholding eligibility

  1. Date Announced

    Dec. 23, 2020

    EOIR and USCIS issue final rule adding public health-related bars to asylum eligibility. The final rule implements three changes:

    1. Expands the "danger to the security of the United States" bar to asylum eligibility to include public-health crises ("emergency public health concerns generated by a communicable disease");
    2. Provides for "streamlining screening for potential eligibility for deferral of removal in the expedited removal process" for noncitizens determined ineligible for asylum based on the third country transit rule; and
    3. Authorizes DHS to place noncitizens found ineligible for asylum or withholding under the third country transit rule or under the "danger to the security of the United States" bar into asylum-and-withholding only proceedings, or to remove such individuals to a third country.

    The rule was signed by Chad Mizelle, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel, on behalf of Acting Secretary Wolf, and by EOIR Director James McHenry. [ID #983]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Jan. 22, 2021
  3. Biden Administration Action

    January 20, 2021

    This Biden administration action impacts the effective date of the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On January 20, 2021, the White House Chief of Staff issued a memorandum asking agencies to consider delaying, consistent with applicable law, the effective dates of any rules that have published and not yet gone into effect, for the purpose of allowing the President’s appointees and designees to review questions of fact, law, and policy raised by those regulations. As of January 21, 2021, the effective date of the final rule published at 85 FR 84160 (Dec. 23, 2020) is delayed until March 22, 2021.

    Delay of Effective Date for Security Bars and Processing
  4. Biden Administration Action

    March 22, 2021

    This Biden administration action delays the effective date of the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On March 22, 2021, DHS and DOJ published an interim final rule (IFR) in the Federal Register further delaying the effective date of the above rule to December 31, 2021. The rule, which added public health concerns to the asylum security bars, was originally set to go into effect on January 21, 2021, but was then delayed by the Biden administration for 60 days until March 22, 2021. The Departments are seeking public comment on the IFR about "whether that rule represents an effective way to protect public health while reducing barriers for noncitizens seeking forms of protection in the United States, or whether the Security Bars rule should be revised or revoked." The IFR is published at 86 FR 15069.

    Security Bars and Processing; Delay of Effective Date

Commentary

Public Health Experts Urge U.S. Officials to Withdraw Proposed Rule That Would Bar Refugees from Asylum and and Other Humanitarian Protections in the U.S.

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