Trump Administration’s Proposed Rules Would Decimate Asylum in the United States

June 12, 2020

Washington, DC – After three years of relentless attacks on the rights of unaccompanied children and asylum seekers, the Trump Administration is proposing further revisions to asylum regulations that would shatter the current framework for receiving asylum in the United States.  Children, in particular, will face daunting obstacles to raising a fear of persecution claim based on issues such as gang and gender violence—which most face. They may also have little opportunity to access the kind of child-friendly procedures necessary to ensure that they have a fair chance to seek protection.

“The proposed rule is the most recent step in a long series of measures designed to make asylum impossible for most people fleeing persecution,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “For the children KIND works with, these new rules deny nearly all avenues of protection and even thwart children’s basic right to tell their story. By raising the standards for persecution on gang violence, forced recruitment, and gender violence prohibitively high, the rule would gut the U.S. asylum system, rendering it meaningless, and ensure that children are returned to harm.”

The rule gives immigration judges and asylum officers broad authority to deny asylum applications without a full interview or hearing and allows the government to declare numerous applications frivolous, resulting in penalties that would further prevent applicants from pursuing immigration relief.

The Trump Administration also proposes eliminating safeguards that protect the confidentiality of applications, exposing children and their families to potential retribution in their home countries and creating the possibility that traumatic personal details revealed by children will be made available to the public.

In addition, the proposed rule also raises eligibility standards for withholding of removal based on persecution or torture to an impossibly high standard, creating barriers to even minimal protections for migrant children who are otherwise ineligible for asylum.

“The United States will no longer have a viable asylum system if the proposed rule is implemented,” Young said. “Our nation’s leadership and long history of protecting the most vulnerable will come to an ignoble end.”


Media Contact: Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990