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Domestic Abusers, Drunk Drivers Disqualified from Asylum Under New Trump Policy

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The Trump administration announced Tuesday that asylum seekers will lose their bids if they are convicted of driving under the influence or committing crimes to support gangs.

The rule, which takes effect Nov. 20, is the latest in a slew of measures to make asylum more difficult to obtain.

The immediate impact will be muted by a temporary pandemic-related ban on asylum introduced in March that calls for people who enter the country illegally to be immediately expelled on public health grounds.

While asylum has long been denied to people convicted of “particularly serious crimes,” the new rule adds a litany of crimes that would be disqualifying.

They include convictions for domestic violence — whether a felony or misdemeanor — assault or battery, re-entering the country illegally, identify theft, public benefits fraud, immigrant smuggling and driving under the influence.

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The rules would also deny asylum to people convicted of crimes that an adjudicator “knows or has reason to believe” was committed to support a criminal street gang.

The rule was to be published Wednesday and signed by Attorney General William Barr.

President Donald Trump has introduced stringent asylum policies since the U.S. became the world’s top destination for asylum seekers in 2017.

Do you support these new asylum policies?

A rule proposed in June gives judges the power to reject claims without a hearing. Several new factors weigh against asylum, including failure to pay taxes.

A rule in July lets authorities block asylum seekers from countries with widespread communicable disease.


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