U.S. Law Center

Asylum restrictions remain after injunction

Asylum allows people living in dangerous regions to seek expedited residence in other countries. Recent changes to the law in the U.S. aim to prevent Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. in an effort to curb what the government describes as unfettered immigration. A federal court recently ruled that the subsequent injunction only applies to specific areas along the southern border of the U.S., according to NBC News

The initial injunction applied to the entire country and cited the law as problematic for asylum seekers. The law states that migrants were ineligible to claim asylum in the U.S. if they didn't seek it in other countries on their way to this one. While the federal court upheld the portion of this injunction, which solely applies to states along the U.S. border with Mexico, other states are now subject to the changes in asylum regulations. The federal court stated that they don't believe a nationwide injunction is warranted based on the evidence that was provided to them during the case. 

This rule impacts Central Americans who must pass through Mexico to get to the U.S. border. There are some exceptions, however. If a migrant applies for asylum in another country and is denied, he or she would be eligible to apply again in the U.S. Migrants who can show that they were the victims of human trafficking are also eligible to apply even after the new laws go into effect. These limited circumstances would still leave a number of migrants unable to claim asylum in this country. 

Now that the injunction has been narrowed in its scope, the only states that are affected are California and Arizona. That means that all other states in the country would be subject to these new asylum rules, which could impact migrants outside of Central America as well.

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