Aliens Subject to a Bar on Entry Under Certain Presidential Proclamations; Procedures for Protection Claims
The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security (``DOJ,'' ``DHS,'' or, collectively, ``the Departments'') are adopting an interim final rule governing asylum claims in the context of aliens who are subject to, but contravene, a suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico that is imposed by a presidential proclamation or other presidential order (``a proclamation'') under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (``INA''). Pursuant to statutory authority, the Departments are amending their respective existing regulations to provide that aliens subject to such a proclamation concerning the southern border, but who contravene such a proclamation by entering the United States after the effective date of such a proclamation, are ineligible for asylum. The interim rule, if applied to a proclamation suspending the entry of aliens who cross the southern border unlawfully, would bar such aliens from eligibility for asylum and thereby channel inadmissible aliens to ports of entry, where they would be processed in a controlled, orderly, and lawful manner. This rule would apply only prospectively to a proclamation issued after the effective date of this rule. It would not apply to a proclamation that specifically includes an exception for aliens applying for asylum, nor would it apply to aliens subject to a waiver or exception provided by the proclamation. DHS is amending its regulations to specify a screening process for aliens who are subject to this specific bar to asylum eligibility. DOJ is amending its regulations with respect to such aliens. The regulations would ensure that aliens in this category who establish a reasonable fear of persecution or torture could seek withholding of removal under the INA or protection from removal under regulations implementing U.S. obligations under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (``CAT'').