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Under new asylum rules, asylum seekers can be sent to unfamiliar countries even if presenting at the U.S. border.

Up until now, the U.S. has been crafting “safe third country”-like agreements with countries like Guatemala, requiring asylum seekers to apply for asylum in those countries if they pass through them on the way to the U.S.  The Trump administration published a rule in the Federal Register on November 19 that makes it possible for the U.S. to send asylum seekers to other countries, even if the asylum seeker never passed through those countries. This step is one more that will decrease the amount of asylum seekers coming to the U.S. Under the new rule, asylum seekers being sent to another country will have to prove that “more likely than not,” they will be persecuted in that country- a high bar to pass. The fast-tracked rule was published and made effective on November 19, and is open for comment until December 19.

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