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Help refugees today

Urgent Action to Support Refugees

On September 23rd, the Trump administration proposed a new administrative rule that will further erode the right to asylum in the United States. This new rule involves multiple proposals, some building upon previous immigration restrictions, others representing new attacks on asylum rights. Oak Park Temple joins the Chicago Jewish Coalition for Refugees and HIAS in calling for action to limit this proposed rule.

Your voice can make a difference.

This new rule involves multiple proposals including:

  • Imposing a new deadline of 15 days from the asylum seeker’s first hearing for filing an asylum application. If they miss this deadline, they lose their rights to asylum.
  • Eliminating the current rule that an application is considered complete if USCIS has not acted on it in 30 days. They propose a 30-day deadline to correct any mistakes in the application, even frivolous mistakes such as putting “none” instead of “N/A.”
  • Requiring a $50 filing fee to be submitted at the beginning of the process.
  • Requiring every immigration case to be completed within an arbitrary 180-day timeframe. This will hurt asylum seekers who need more time to locate evidence or find a lawyer.
  • Restricting the use of non-governmental evidence in asylum hearings. Considering a whistleblower accused the Trump Administration of altering intelligence reports to make certain countries appear safer, this puts asylum seekers at the mercy of an increasingly politicized process.
  • Allowing judges to submit their own evidence. This is unheard of in the American legal practice, and it could result in judges deciding cases before an asylum seeker has spoken a word.

This rule represents an attempt to weaponize bureaucracy to deny people the right to seek protection within the United States. HIAS opposes this latest attack on asylum rights, and we ask you to add your voice to those who oppose this needless attack by making a public comment.

Before these changes can be finalized, the administration must review every single unique comment that they receive. Your comments are very important!

To submit a comment

Go to this link.  Draft your comment using the template below. Make sure that you personalize your comment (even just add a sentence or two), because all duplicative submissions will be discarded.

The deadline to submit is October 23rd at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

Ready for further action?

You may have seen the articles about the Irwin Detention Center in Georgia, where a nurse has come forward to provide accounts of unnecessary hysterectomies performed on the immigrant women there. You may also have heard about Muslim detainees being forced to eat pork against their religious beliefs.  HIAS is deeply concerned about these accounts, which must be investigated thoroughly.

HIAS encourages us to take action today!

Sign this petition on the hysterectomy issue, from the Families Belong Together coalition

Send letters to ICE in protest of the fact that they are serving pork to Muslim detainees

Thank you for your work in behalf of some of the most vulnerable members of our society!

Sample Comment

I am writing to share my strong opposition to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; RIN 1125-AA93/ EOIR Docket No. 19-0010/ A.G. Order No. 4843-2020.

I strongly oppose these proposed changes in their entirety because they represent a series of needless barriers for those fleeing horrific violence and persecution. For example, the 15-day deadline for filing an asylum claim could be impossible in practice. The 30-day deadline for correcting errors in an asylum application is unnecessary and will likely causes many asylum seekers to accidentally abandon their asylum claims. In addition, the fee requirement will hurt many asylum seekers who arrived with nothing more than the clothes on their back. The emphasis on completing court proceedings and the restriction on reasonable delays will hurt asylum seekers who need more time to find a lawyer or locate evidence. The restriction on outside sources will unfairly privilege government sources of data even though there are disturbing allegations regarding the objectivity of this data. Moreover, the allowance for judges bringing their own evidence into court flies in the face of basic judicial fairness.

[Insert your own opinions about why you support a strong U.S. asylum system and why you oppose these latest changes. For example, what does this latest rule mean to you as a Jewish American? Does your family have a refugee story? Are you friends with someone who is an asylum seeker or was granted asylum? Do you work or volunteer with asylum seekers/asylees? Have you seen firsthand how refugees and asylum seekers/asylees contribute to your community?]

It is for these reasons that I urge you to immediately rescind the Proposed Rule and instead dedicate your efforts to reducing bureaucratic barriers for people seeking asylum

Sat, November 28 2020 12 Kislev 5781