Written By: Emily Portalatin Munoz
The newest legislation on asylum seekers was introduced on November 2019.This article will break down the legislation and its components. Lets take a look at the five facts of the Refuge Protection Act of 2019.
#1 Senator Patrick Leahy sponsored this bill
Patrick Leahy is a Democrat from Vermont who has served in the senate since 1975. He is a very active senator sponsoring this bill and many others such as A bill to specify the Federal share of the costs of certain duty of the National Guard in connection with the Coronavirus Disease 2019. He has had a long history of voting and sponsoring bills that provide protection of government overreach. For example, a bill restricting search and seizure of electronics at the border.
#2 This Legislation will reverse Attorney General Jeff Sessions Matter of A-B
The matter of A-B is a dense legal battle in which the attorney general Jeff Sessions overturned a Board of Immigration Appeals case. By overturning the BIA woman seeking asylum on the basis of domestic violence are no longer qualified for asylum. However, if this bill passes the policy would revert back to its original decision. This would mean leaving a domestic violence situation will meet the qualification of asylum in the united states.
#3 This Legislation will Allow for Immigration Courts to Reopen Cases
This part of the legislation is pretty straight forward. As it stands now with current policy in order to reopen cases you must appeal the decision or a motion to reopen the case. The qualifications of both are very hard to decipher. There is a thirty day window to appeal a case and after that you have to summit a motion to reopen that case and by then your chances are slim. This legislation would allow for a lot of that red tape to be lifted so that people can reopen there cases with grater chance of of being granted asylum.
#4 This Legislation will Stop Metering a Limit on Migrants
According to a NPR article “metering is the term that Customs and Border Protection uses for a process by which it limits the number of people who can request asylum at a port of entry at a U.S./Mexico border crossing each day.” This policy has been under much scrutiny as it quite literally leaves people seeking asylum for dead the the dangerous zones of the U.S./Mexico border. This legislation would put a stop to this policy and allowing everyone to cross the border without being left in the harsh environments.
#5 This Legislation will Stop the Prosecution for Crossing the Boarder
This fact is probably the most universally recognizable one on the bill. The act of prosecution for crossing the border is the most prosecuted federal offense in the united states (Zhang and Patterson, 2019). Some asylum seekers have no choice but to physically flee to the border before they apply for asylum but, this prosecution leads to people seeking asylum to start there processes with disadvantages. This legislation will end the prosecution and no longer make it an offense.