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Salvaging US Refugee Law in 2021: The Case for Tackling the Problem of Discretionary Asylum

January 21, 2021 (1 min read)

Zora Franicevic, Ian M. Kysel and Thomas Shannan, Jan. 20, 2021

"Among many other things, the last four years has been one, long, sustained attack on the role of the United States in refugee protection – and on the rule of law in the immigration system more broadly. Experts have been carefully tracking (for example, here and here) the outgoing administration’s attempt at death by a thousand cuts and also plotting visions for comprehensive reform, both by the executive branch alone and through legislation (see proposals here and here). President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to deliver an immigration reform proposal to Congress immediately; a comprehensive bill is expected to be transmitted to Congress within hours of the oath of office. Among many competing priorities, we argue below that the new administration should prioritize closing what we term the “discretion gap” in U.S. refugee law and make asylum mandatory for all those who merit it. ..."