New York, NY (February 22, 2023) — Yesterday, the Biden administration announced a new federal rule that would bar asylum for people at the southern border who travel through a third country before arriving in the United States. As written, the rule would require that they apply for and be denied asylum in that third country before applying in the U.S. The rule is scheduled to go into effect the day that Title 42 expulsions end.

Immigration Equality’s Executive Director, Aaron C. Morris, responded with strong condemnation of President Biden’s proposed rule.

“The President’s proposed rule will deny asylum to thousands of otherwise eligible refugees, many of whom will be LGBTQ people. The rule puts into place impossible hurdles that people fleeing persecution will never be able to overcome. Additionally, a requirement that LGBTQ people apply for asylum in other countries before coming to the U.S. is misguided and blatantly contrary to federal law. Many common transit countries are extremely dangerous for LGBTQ asylum seekers, who face brutal violence, sexual assault, and murder as they flee to the U.S. for safety.

The President must undo his predecessor’s anti-asylum policies, not expand on them. LGBTQ asylum seekers deserve a system that is equitable and accessible. Their lives depend on it. The rule as proposed will almost certainly result in the senseless death of LGBTQ refugees, most of whom would otherwise find safety through asylum in the United States.”


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