Immigration Law

Barring Asylum Claims: The President Versus the Statute (Peter Margulies)

Peter Margulies, Nov. 9, 2018 - "... The new policy clashes with the INA’s plain meaning. For almost 40 years, Congress has clearly stated that a foreign national who presents herself anywhere on the U.S. border or at a port of entry such as a harbor or airport has a right to claim asylum. In language codified as part of the Refugee Act of 1980, Congress authorized asylum claims by any foreign national “physically present in the United States or at a land border or port of entry” (emphasis added). Congress changed this text in 1996, but expressly reaffirmed in 8 U.S.C. 1158(a)(1) the eligibility for asylum of “any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival)" (emphasis added). This inclusive provision surely reflected Congress’s appreciation of facts on the ground: refugees often flee for their lives and cannot pick and choose at leisure the precise location at which they will seek relief. Given that exigency, allowing an applicant for refugee status to assert a claim for asylum at any point along a land border is a necessary component of essential refugee protections. ..."

See also, Joint Rule and Presidential Proclamation On Entry and Asylum: What You Need To Know