A proposed new border policy by the Department of Justice would drastically redefine the conditions for asylum in U.S. and exclude many vulnerable groups, particularly Central Americans, according to a draft of the proposal obtained by news site Vox. The report states the proposal would deny asylum to anyone convicted of entering the country illegally—immigrants would have to declare themselves at official points of entry to be considered, though those sites are often massively overcrowded with long delays. It would also likely deny asylum to most Central Americans, by penalizing those who spend more than two weeks in another country en route to the United States (traversing Mexico on foot takes far longer). Victims of gang and domestic violence would also likely be excluded, due to the proposal’s stringent redefinition of “persecuted” social groups. The report, of course, could change before it’s published—but its current iteration is “tightening the screws throughout the asylum process,” Vox reports. When the finished rule is released, the outlet notes, there will be 90 days for the public to comment before it becomes law.
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