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Immigration Law

DOJ/DHS Asylum Final Rule: Security Bars and Processing

Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 247 / Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"On July 9, 2020, DHS and DOJ (collectively, “the Departments”) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) clarifying that the danger to the security of the United States statutory bar to eligibility for asylum and withholding of removal may encompass emergency public health concerns. This final rule responds to comments received in response to the NPRM and reflects (and in some instances, modifies) intervening changes made to the regulatory framework by Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review, published December 11, 2020 (“Global Asylum Final Rule”). Namely, it amends existing regulations to clarify that in certain circumstances there are “reasonable grounds for regarding [an] alien as a danger to the security of the United States” or “reasonable grounds to believe that [an] alien is a danger to the security of the United States” based on emergency public health concerns generated by a communicable disease, making the alien ineligible to be granted asylum in the United States under section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) or the protection of withholding of removal under the INA (“statutory withholding of removal”) or subsequent regulations (because of the threat of torture). The final rule further allows DHS to exercise its prosecutorial discretion regarding how to process individuals subject to expedited removal who are determined to be ineligible for asylum and withholding of removal in the United States because they are subject to the danger to the security of the United States. Finally, the rule modifies the process in expedited removal proceedings for screening aliens for potential eligibility for deferral of removal (who are ineligible for withholding of removal as subject to the danger to the security of the United States bar). DATES: This final rule is effective January 22, 2021."