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EOIR Director instructs IJs and BIA on significant asylum reg

  1. Date Announced

    Dec. 11, 2020

    In Policy Memo 21-09, the EOIR Director provides "an overview and summary" of the recently finalized rule revising standards and procedures for asylum, withholding of removal, Convention Against Torture relief, credible fear, and reasonable fear. Among the many points made about the new regulations:

    • The standard of proof for withholding of removal and CAT claims in expedited removal is raised from "significant possibility" of harm to "reasonable possibility."
    • Asylum officers must consider internal relocation and mandatory asylum bars during credible fear screenings.
    • An immigration judge should consider only the law of the applicable circuit when reviewing an asylum officer's negative fear determination and not the precedents of all circuit courts.
    • The definition of "frivolous" has been revised and expanded, and asylum officers are empowered to make frivolousness findings.
    • Immigration Judges may now pretermit an asylum application, sua sponte or upon a DHS motion, if the judge finds the applicant did not make a prima facie claim.
    • Several critical legal definitions and standards are changed, including membership in a particular social group, political opinion, persecution, nexus, internal relocation, firm resettlement, public officials acting under the color of law, evidence based on stereotypes, and the exercise of discretion.
    • Information on applications for protection may now be disclosed in a number of immigration enforcement or criminal law enforcement scenarios.

    [ID #1241]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Jan. 11, 2021
  3. Biden Administration Action

    May 14, 2021

    This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On May 14, 2021, EOIR issued this Policy Memo 21-22, rescinding and cancelling Policy Memo 21-09.

    5.14.2021 Rescission of PM 21-09
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Hearings and Adjudications
Agencies Affected: EOIR

Biden Administration Action

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