On this day, 16th of June, 2021, The Joe Biden administration ended two of Trump’s administration policies that made it harder for immigrants fleeing violence to qualify for asylum, especially Central Americans.
The news is a huge win for immigrant advocates. This is largely because, during the Trump era, immigrants who faced domestic or gang violence had limited chances of qualifying for asylum in the United States. This was not really their fault. Their chances were limited because of the immigration policies on the ground as at then. As at the Trump-era rules made it tough for immigrants who faced domestic or gang violence to win asylum in the United States.
One other policy that was undone on this day was the policy that made it difficult for immigrants to obtain asylum based on threats to a family member. Under U.S. law, an asylum seeker must prove a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of origin based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Under Trump’s administration policy, being a member of a family does not count as being part of a “particular social group.” As such, individuals seeking asylum under these grounds were denied.
“The Trump-era policies may be blamed for more than 50% of the 2020 fiscal year asylum cases denials.”
Joe Biden had earlier ordered the office of The attorney general alongside the Department of Homeland Security to come up with rules addressing immigration complexities faced by people who should qualify for asylum. Events after that, suggests that move is bearing fruits already.
The move could make it easier for immigrants to win their cases for humanitarian protection. This is a welcome relief for anyone who wants to seek asylum based on the aforementioned reasons in the United States.
“The significance of this cannot be overstated,” said Kate Melloy Goettel, legal director of litigation at the American Immigration Council. “This was one of the worst anti-asylum decisions under the Trump era, and this is a really important first step in undoing that.”
Unlike his predecessor, president Joe Biden has chosen a less harsh path when it concerns immigration. Trump will be remembered for his anti-immigration policies. His entry ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and his restrictions at the southern border with Mexico remains milestone events of his tenure.
It remains to be seen, how many more pro-immigration policies President Joe Biden will make during his tenure as president.