What is the Current State of Deportation and Changes in Asylum Laws?

Changes in Deportation and Asylum Laws

At Ferretjans Law Office we specialize in helping the immigrant community in Miami tackle their complex immigration issues. Immigration law is always changing, and it is important to make sure attorneys keep up with the changes. It can make or break your case. Below, I summarize the current state of deportations and some of the recent changes we have seen in immigration law in the United States.

Current State of Deportation

You may be wondering if deportations have stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The short answer is—no. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has created new rules that expand what we call “expedited removal,” or deportation of immigrants without a court hearing. This makes it easier for ICE to deport immigrants more quickly than in the past because they need not allow immigrants to appear before an Immigration Judge before removing them from the United States. Traditionally, expedited removal was only used at the border and surrounding areas. However, now ICE can deport immigrants without a court hearing throughout the country.

Changes in Asylum Laws

    • On March 20, 2020, the CDC issues an order suspending all “nonessential” travel through Canadian and Mexican borders. Essentially, the borders are closed to asylum seekers until April 19, 2020.
    • The CDC issued another order allowing ICE to deport anyone, without following the normal procedures for asylum seekers, if there is a risk they are carrying a disease, for example, COVID-19, into the United States.
    • We do not know when these orders will be canceled because the government can extend them.
    • President Donald Trump’s new regulations changed the process to obtain documents that allow a person to work legally in the United States (employment authorization) when you apply for asylum.
    • Before, you used to apply for employment authorization 150 days after you applied for asylum. Now, the government has changed the rules and you cannot apply for work authorization until 1 full year, 365 days after you file your complete asylum application. 
    • This means that if you apply for asylum, you cannot work legally in the United States for over a year after you apply for asylum.
      • President Trump made a rule that makes anyone who traveled through at least one other country to come to the United States ineligible to apply for asylum in the United States unless they applied for protection in the country or countries they passed through. 
        • For example, if you came to the United States from Honduras and you traveled through Mexico without applying for asylum, you cannot apply for asylum in the United States.
      • A Court struck down this ban, however, President Trump is trying to work with already existing immigration laws to prevent all asylum seekers who travel through other countries to come to the United States from getting asylum. 
      • Keep your eyes out for changes with this rule.

    It is important to speak with a licensed United States Immigration Attorney to make sure you are complying with the current immigration laws. To set up a consultation with our office, please contact us via e-mail at assistant@pflawoffice.com, office phone at (305) 925-0811, or via WhatsApp at (786) 859-4755. 

    Pamela Ferretjans

    Managing Attorney of Ferretjans Law Office

    Last Updated: October 27, 2020

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     1.U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Order Suspending Introduction of Certain Persons from Countries Where a Communicable Disease Exists (last visited on 30 Oct. 2020). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/order-suspending-introduction-certain-persons.html.
     2.U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS Rule Strengthens Employment Eligibility Requirements for Asylum Seekers (last visited on 30 Oct. 2020). Available at: https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-rule-strengthens-employment-eligibility-requirements-for-asylum-seekers.
    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS and DOJ Issue Third-Country Asylum Rule (last visited on 30 Oct. 2020). Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/07/15/dhs-and-doj-issue-third-country-asylum-rule.
    4.East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr, 964 F.3d 832 (2020).
    5. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Questions and Answers: Asylum Eligibility and Applications (last visited
    30 Oct. 2020). Available at: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-and-asylum/asylum/asylum-frequently-

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