The Trump administration is seeking to block immigrants convicted of drunk driving, domestic violence, or a gang-related crime from qualifying for asylum protection under a proposed new rule.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on Wednesday announcing their plan to expand the number of crimes that would disqualify an immigrant from seeking asylum. The departments said in a statement that the proposed rule aims to help them “devote more resources to the adjudication of asylum cases filed by non-criminal aliens.”
The Immigration and Nationality Act already bars certain categories of immigrants from receiving asylum, such as those who were involved in the persecution of others, convicted of particularly serious crimes, or involved in terrorist activity.
The proposed rule adds an extra seven categories of crimes that would make immigrants ineligible from receiving protection in the United States. Some of the crimes include a felony under federal or state law, alien smuggling, illegal re-entry, and other misdemeanors. The proposal will still need to go through a public commenting period—which will end on Jan. 21 next year—before it can be implemented.