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Within immigration law, asylum seekers are one of the most vulnerable populations. In order to qualify for asylum, applicants must demonstrate a “credible fear of persecution or torture.” A new proposed rule would make the asylum process significantly more difficult, allowing denials to be issued without a right to have immigration case heard in court. It would also change the standard for “credible fear of persecution or torture,” making an approval almost impossible for those immigrants seeking protection based on being victims of domestic violence, gender-based discrimination, or gang-related violence. The changes also make the process more challenging, allowing the government to put more weight on discretionary factors. These measures would end the possibility of asylum for thousands of immigrants escaping unspeakable harm and violence in their home countries.

In addition, the government just published their Final Rule on employment authorization eligibility for immigrants with pending asylum applications. Under the old rules, applicants would request an employment authorization document once their case was pending for 150 days. The new rule increases the waiting period from 150 to 365 days before the applicant can request a work permit. The new rule also limits the employment authorization to two years, and bans immigrants who entered the country illegally from obtaining the work permit, among other changes.

The United States government has extended the ban on immigrant visas issued outside the United States, adding temporary visas as well. The ban is now extended until the end of 2020 and it now includes H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visas. The few exceptions, such as the ones for immigrants working in COVID-19 treatment and prevention, would not apply to a significant number of applicants. This measure should not affect individuals filing for their green card in the United States through Adjustment of Status or those who already hold a visa.

This past June 18th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the government’s attempt to end DACA was unlawful. The court found that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does have the authority to end DACA, but that it had proceeded in an arbitrary and capricious manner in doing so, thus the ending of the program is illegal.

This is a life changing decision for thousands of young immigrants who were brought to this country as children. It allows them to continue to life, work, and pursue an education in the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has yet to implement the changes, but the decision provides a temporary stop to the end of the program, as multiple challenges to DACA continue to move through the courts. Once new guidelines are implemented, initial applications for DACA-eligible individuals and new applications for Advance Parole (travel permits) should be accepted by the government.

Posted on in Immigration

Immigration law continues to be a fascinating and interesting topic of conversation in our country. It is volatile and complex and one of the many questions that arise are typically linked to issues on asylum. This particular area of immigration law has many layered and detailed nuances that might confuse asylum seekers and it is important to know them to better see if any potential candidates can apply to it or not.

Understanding asylum

Each year, there are thousands of foreigners who choose to enter into the United States seeking asylum from their home countries. Asylum is the protection that a country can grant unto a person who is classified as a refugee.

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The U.S. immigration system has been in a state of flux for some time now. Officials seem determined to change even longstanding, fundamental aspects of the process. One of the latest targets? The cost of immigration.

In 2020, immigrating to the U.S. will likely become much more expensive for most people. Here are some of the biggest expected changes.

A fee for asylum seekers

When the current White House administration announced the proposed fee changes in November of 2019, many people highlighted the impact on asylum seekers. Traditionally, the U.S. has not charged individuals looking for this type of humanitarian help. That is in line with the rest of the world – currently, only three countries require asylum seekers to pay a fee.

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