Every year, thousands of people come to the United States seeking political asylum, a request for protection because they have suffered or are suffering persecution in their country.
Usually, these countries persecute their own people because of nationality, race, social groups and political opinions.
Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule
In 2019, Congress passed the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule. This Rule prohibits certain non-U.S. citizens from seeking asylum in the United States, explicitly targeting people who have passed through a third country that is a signatory to the United Nations Convention.
The Rule applies to individuals attempting to enter the United States via the southern border. If the U.S. government has this Rule in place, the reasoning is that it will discourage people from circumventing the law to seek asylum in the United States.
Criticism of the Rule
Human rights advocates widely criticized this law, arguing that it violates non-citizens’ rights to apply for asylum, and that it would likely result in these individuals returning to their home countries, which are typically non-democratic, where asylum seekers can and often are subjected to persecution and torture.
In recent days, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar struck down the Rule based on the reasoning that It limits who can apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border more than it normally would by law and that if this Rule stands, people seeking asylum may not be able to seek protection from other countries because of this Rule.
The court held that the Rule is illegal because it improperly assumes that people are not eligible for asylum if they enter the United States between legal border crossings.
By prioritizing the protection and dignity of asylum seekers, the United States can work toward a more humane approach to addressing the issue of asylum migration.