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2020 Presidential Election

2020 Immigration: Asylum


The United States considers asylum cases based on a refugee's "persecution or fear of persecution due to

  • (1) race,
  • (2) religion,
  • (3) nationality,
  • (4) membership in a particular social group,
  • (5) political opinion"

[U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services]




  • Jan. 2020: The Trump administration has made it "nearly impossible" for refugees to be granted asylum. Listen to the full story with NPR.
  • There remain "gross disparities" on how immigration judges rule on asylum cases. [Reuters]
  • Apr. 2020: President Trump shut down the U.S. asylum system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [Associated Press

President Trump is against Asylum


What he's said

Aug. 2019: "We can't take you. Our country is full." [NPR]


What he's done

While in office, the Trump administration has put forth changes to asylum policy, including

  • Limiting the number of claims processed each day, [Vox]
  • Limiting refugee admittance to an all-time low, [BBC]
  • Limiting asylum claims to only those who appear in a port of entry, [Politico]
  • Barring asylum for individuals passing through any other country than their own before arriving at the U.S., [BBC]
  • A rule requiring asylum seekers on the southern border to remain in Mexico, and not in the U.S., while their claim is processed, [Politico]
  • Deporting asylum seekers that live in the U.S., including children without adults. [ProPublica

Former Vice President Biden supports Asylum


What he's said

"Immigration is essential to who we are as a nation, our core values, and our aspirations for our future." [Joe Biden Campaign]


The Biden campaign has promised additional resources to handle asylum cases. [Reuters] Those resources include:

  • Increase judges, officers, court staff, and translators to efficiently process asylum claims, [Joe Biden Campaign]
  • Restore asylum eligibility for domestic violence survivors and those fleeing political persecution, [Joe Biden Campaign]
  • Tackle the "root causes of migration", including a $4 billion aid package to Central American countries. [Reuters]
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