July 30, 2020 6 minutes to read ∙ 1300 words

Asylum Seekers Need Pro Bono Lawyers Now More Than Ever

By Jason Dzubow

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The Trump Administration came into office with the express goal of tightening rules related to asylum eligibility. Their efforts have resulted in reduced due process protections for asylum seekers, along with increased evidentiary burdens. Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration’s anti-asylum rule making has gone into overdrive. If recently proposed regulations go into effect, asylum seekers could be denied protection simply for having passed through a third country or for having failed to pay taxes. Worse, these new rules will likely apply retroactively, thus potentially disqualifying some asylum seekers for choices they made years ago. While the asylum process was never easy, all these recent changes have made it much more difficult to successfully navigate the system, especially for those without legal representation. Here, we’ll review some data about asylum grant rates, discuss the process of seeking asylum, and talk about how a lawyer can help.

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