Some immigrants seeking asylum in Indiana might be denied if they passed through another country on the way to the United States. A rule by the Trump administration that was set to take effect on July 16 requires people to seek asylum in countries traveled through before doing so in the United States. There are exceptions for a few people, such as victims of human trafficking.
The rule comes as a surge of migrants from Central America continue to arrive at the southern border as they flee violence in their home countries. According to the TRAC Immigration program at Syracuse University, starting in 2017, there was a significant increase in the number of denials. Prior to that, the rate since 2001 had been between 20% and 30%. TRAC attributed the change to the policy of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made it more difficult for people trying to escape gang or domestic violence to claim asylum.
An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union has stated that the rule is unlawful. However, its supporters say it is necessary to deal with the flow of migration from Central America. The Department of Homeland Security reports that in the last 10 years, the percentage of people seeking asylum who do not pass the initial credible fear interview has risen from 5% to 40%.
Immigration law has been subject to a number of changes during the Trump administration, and people who are seeking asylum or who wish to immigrate to the U.S. for other reasons may want to consult an attorney. An attorney may be able to keep people informed about any changes that are related to their situation and how to proceed as a result.