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Trump administration imposes new asylum bar

People in Tennessee and across the country are deeply concerned about the changes taking place at the U.S. southern border. In the latest development, the Trump administration has issued a rule claiming that all people who pass through another country before coming to the U.S. are ineligible for asylum. The rule aims to exclude Central American refugees in particular from making asylum claims at the border as they must generally pass through Mexico in order to do so. The rule was published in the Federal Register and will apply both to adult refugee claimants as well as children traveling alone to seek asylum.

Tens of thousands of people aim to claim asylum in the United States each month, especially those from Central American countries racked with violence and persecution. Justifying the rule, Attorney General William Barr said that the government is overwhelmed with the cost of processing asylum applications at the southern border. He also accused people of being "economic migrants" rather than truly fleeing torture or persecution. People who claim asylum go through an interview that aims to determine whether they have a credible fear of persecution in their home countries. The U.S. is rejecting more people; while only 5% were rejected based on these interviews 10 years ago, 40% are now rejected.

The rule claims to hold exceptions in some cases, such as for victims of human trafficking. However, the American Civil Liberties Union said that the new rule is unlawful. The ACLU announced plans to challenge the asylum bar in the federal courts.

Many people dealing with the immigration system have grown increasingly concerned about their own status due to the highly publicized measures to crack down on migration. An immigration law attorney may provide guidance to help protect a person's status and ability to remain in the country.

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