Washington D.C., Jul 16, 2019 / 12:05 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The president of U.S. bishops’ conference issued a statement on Tuesday condemning a newly-announced rule on asylum eligibility at the southern border, suggesting that countries like Mexico are not a safe final destination for asylum seekers, and encouraging the Trump administration to change the policy.
“The rule adds further barriers to asylum-seekers’ ability to access life-saving protection, shirks our moral duty, and will prevent the United States from taking its usual leading role in the international community as a provider of asylum protection,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, in a statement released July 16.
Cardinal DiNardo also said that “initial analysis raises serious questions” about the new rule’s legal soundness.
The new policy establishes that claimants are ineligible to apply for asylum in the United States if they failed to first apply for asylum in any third country they passed through after departing their country of origin.
Practically, the new rule requires that asylum seekers traveling through Mexico from Central or South American countries must first apply for asylum in Mexico before being eligible to claim asylum in the U.S. The rule contains a number of exceptions.