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house Bill H.R. 2347

Should Asylum-Seekers from Northern Triangle Countries Be Able to Apply for Asylum in Their Home Countries?

Argument in favor

Allowing asylum-seekers’ claims to be processed in their countries of origin will reduce the number of people who are forced to travel to the U.S. border to present their claims. This will reduce the burden on border patrol and help asylum-seekers get to safety more efficiently.

burrkitty's Opinion
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last Saturday
Every Embassy, Consulates, or equivalents (like the American Institute in Taiwan, which is a de-facto Embassy) should be able to do this. Embassies are US soil which fulfills the legal requirements to be on US soil to request asylum. Approve. PS. International law dictates that a country can only turn back asylum seekers if the previous country the asylum seekers are passing through is designated as a “Safe Third Country”. Mexico IS NOT designated as a “Safe Third Country” by the USA. While we are at it, our agreement with Canada is in jeopardy too as there is a court case in the Canadian courts right now to remove OUR designation as a “Safe Third Country” due to the numerous human rights violations at the southern border. PPS. The population density of the USA is less than 100 people per square mile. That’s more that 65 acres per person. We are by no stretch of the imagination “full”. Stop that stupidity at once.
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Linda's Opinion
···
last Sunday
Yes asylum seekers should be able to seek asylum in their home countries by going to the US embassy in their home countries. But they should also be able to come to the US & seek asylum. We should do what ever we can to make them safe. Immigrates of all kinds have help make our economy strong. We need immigrates.
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Kathi13's Opinion
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last Saturday
I think this is a good idea, but it won’t stop the anti-immigrant actions of this administration.
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Argument opposed

This bill would undo the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the overall number of immigrants coming into the U.S. through what it says are false asylum claims. We should be making it harder, not easier, to enter the U.S. as an asylee.

···
last Sunday
The US has been far too lenient with asylum seekers. Asylum should be reserved only for those who have proven themselves to be under identifiable threat of bodily harm at the hands of a foreign power or in possession of highly sensitive information which could be of use to our intelligence services. Asylum claims SHOULD NOT become "Get Into America Free" cards...
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James's Opinion
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last Sunday
Force The Peoples Republic Of China and Russia to take them! Sorry folks! America is all full up! And Fed Up as well!
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Ronald's Opinion
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last Saturday
Asylum seekers should seek asylum in countries bordering their own country. This is International law. This not about immigration, or asylum. America must not take in person unhappy in their home country. Being unhappy in your country is reason to change your country, to make yourself happy. That would solve your, and your countrymen' problem.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedApril 18th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2347?

This bill — the Border and Refugee Assistance Act of 2019 — would allow families and minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to apply for protections within their home countries, rather than having to apply for asylum in the U.S. To this end, this bill would direct the Homeland Security Secretary and Secretary of State to expand in-country refugee processing centers in the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador).

Impact

Asylum claims; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; asylum-seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; Homeland Security Secretary; and Secretary of State.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2347

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) introduced this bill to mitigate the flow of migrants at the border and expand the processing of refugees within their country of origin:

“This proposal aims to provide a safe and orderly process for assessing refugee claims while ensuring humanitarian protection for individuals fleeing violence. By allowing claims to be effectively processed within an individual’s country of origin, less people will be forced to make the dangerous journey to the border to present their claims. This proposal is just one piece of what needs to be a multifaceted response to the humanitarian crisis in the Northern Triangle, including investments in improving security and governance in the region and investments in the United States’ own asylum, refugee, and immigration systems.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) adds:

“By allowing migrants to safely claim asylum in their home countries, fewer asylum seekers will be forced to make perilous journeys to the southern border, decreasing the probability of being victimized and exploited by human traffickers. It will also diminish the backlog of cases pending in immigration courts by reducing the number of new cases and deter fraudulent asylum claims that prevent the timely protection for legitimate refugees fleeing dire and dangerous circumstances. Border communities like my hometown of Laredo are feeling the burden of housing migrants that come to our country to claim asylum. I thank Congressmen Vela and Gonzalez for working with me on this this legislation, which is a necessary step to address long-term 'push' factors such as widespread insecurity, fragile political and judicial systems, and high levels of poverty and unemployment that incentivize irregular migration to the U.S.”

The trio of Texas Democratic Congressmen — Reps. Vela, Cuellar, and Vicente Gonzalez — who are cosponsoring this bill argue that it addresses of the key “push factors” bringing migrants north, and will help address family unit migration north to apply for asylum in person.

In an April 2019 report, the Homeland Security Advisory Council suggested establishing regional processing centers as a different model for processing families seeking asylum in the U.S. In its report, The Homeland Security Advisory Committee proposed establishing three to four Regional Processing Centers (RPCs) along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with a secure shelter to process asylum claims from Central America in Guatemala, along the Guatemala-Mexico border.

On April 29, 2019, the White House ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers from Central America, including charging them to file their claims and barring them from working in the U.S. In a presidential memorandum, President Trump called for regulations to this effect to be drafted within weeks to accelerate the process of adjudicating asylum claims, setting a fee for asylum-seekers “not to exceed the costs of adjudicating the application” and effectively barring asylum-seekers from working while their claims are being adjudicated. Trump has often mocked the asylum system, calling it a “loophole” that attracts immigrant to the U.S. The new memo is the administration’s latest effort to make it harder for migrants to stay in the U.S., and it comes amid a spike in border crossings, including a large number of families seeking asylum.

In its memo, the White House included a sheet of statistics and arguments to make its case for restricting asylum claims:

"Our immigration system has reached a breaking point as we continue to see an overwhelming surge of migrants, with more than 100,000 arriving at our border in March alone. As a result of loopholes in United States immigration law, migrants claiming fear are often released into communities across the United States, where they often remain indefinitely."

Democrats and immigration advocates have already criticized the White House’s plan to charge asylum-seekers an application fee. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) tweeted:

“Seeking asylum is a right under U.S. and international law--not a privilege to pay for. The Trump Administration's baseless attacks on families leaving everything behind and fleeing unimaginable violence has reached a new, shameful low.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted, “[T]he idea that we will charge asylum seekers a fee to seek refuge from persecution, torture, or death is offensive and counter to our values.”

This bill has two Democratic cosponsors, both from Texas.


Of NoteOn November 9, 2017, the State Dept. stopped accepting new applications for the Central American Minors (CAM) refugee program. This program, established in 2014, had provided certain minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras the opportunity to be considered for refugee resettlement in the U.S. while still in their home country.

In about 2013, many children and families seeking refuge from violence and poverty in their home countries in Central America began arriving in the U.S. USCIS reports that more individuals from the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) sought sought affirmative asylum in the U.S. from 2013-2015 than in the previous 15 years combined.

Although the Trump administration has sought to characterize asylum-seekers’ claims as “baseless,” the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) points out the Northern Triangle countries are experiencing record levels of violence. WOLA also notes that under U.S. asylum law, applicants fleeing from gang violence and other threats qualify for protection.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / vichinterlang)

AKA

Border and Refugee Assistance Act of 2019

Official Title

To expand in-country processing of family units and minors in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to provide relief to the southern border and uphold access to humanitarian protection consistent with U.S. laws.

    Every Embassy, Consulates, or equivalents (like the American Institute in Taiwan, which is a de-facto Embassy) should be able to do this. Embassies are US soil which fulfills the legal requirements to be on US soil to request asylum. Approve. PS. International law dictates that a country can only turn back asylum seekers if the previous country the asylum seekers are passing through is designated as a “Safe Third Country”. Mexico IS NOT designated as a “Safe Third Country” by the USA. While we are at it, our agreement with Canada is in jeopardy too as there is a court case in the Canadian courts right now to remove OUR designation as a “Safe Third Country” due to the numerous human rights violations at the southern border. PPS. The population density of the USA is less than 100 people per square mile. That’s more that 65 acres per person. We are by no stretch of the imagination “full”. Stop that stupidity at once.
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    The US has been far too lenient with asylum seekers. Asylum should be reserved only for those who have proven themselves to be under identifiable threat of bodily harm at the hands of a foreign power or in possession of highly sensitive information which could be of use to our intelligence services. Asylum claims SHOULD NOT become "Get Into America Free" cards...
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    As well as here? Definitely. Instead of here? No. The point of asylum is to get away from dangerous situations. At times that means escaping from the place where they currently live. If this bill means they are restricted to remaining in a dangerous environment while asylum is processed, I cannot in good conscience support this for the convenience of my country. It is their lives that must come first. Adding an alternative is great if it is safe to do so. If not, escape is the only solution.
    Like (51)
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    Yes asylum seekers should be able to seek asylum in their home countries by going to the US embassy in their home countries. But they should also be able to come to the US & seek asylum. We should do what ever we can to make them safe. Immigrates of all kinds have help make our economy strong. We need immigrates.
    Like (24)
    Follow
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    I think this is a good idea, but it won’t stop the anti-immigrant actions of this administration.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Force The Peoples Republic Of China and Russia to take them! Sorry folks! America is all full up! And Fed Up as well!
    Like (22)
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    👍🏻👍🏻 House Bill H.R. 2347 The Border and Refugee Assistance Act 👍🏻👍🏻 I support and recommend the passage of this bill the “Border and Refugee Assistance Act of 2019” which would allow families and minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to apply for protections within their home countries, rather than having to apply for asylum in the U.S. To this end, this bill would direct the Homeland Security Secretary and Secretary of State to expand in-country refugee processing centers in the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 5*18*19.....
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    Yes, but this must be in addition to allowing refugees to travel to the United States to claim refugee status and allowing them to stay in a location that is not a detention center like this administration prefers!
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    Asylum seekers should seek asylum in countries bordering their own country. This is International law. This not about immigration, or asylum. America must not take in person unhappy in their home country. Being unhappy in your country is reason to change your country, to make yourself happy. That would solve your, and your countrymen' problem.
    Like (9)
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    They can already do that, this is just another Democrat waste of time and money. #MAGA
    Like (8)
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    Every Embassy, Consulates, or equivalents (like the American Institute in Taiwan, which is a de-facto Embassy) should be able to do this. Embassies are US soil which fulfills the legal requirements to be on US soil to request asylum. Approve. PS. International law dictates that a country can only turn back asylum seekers if the previous country the asylum seekers are passing through is designated as a “Safe Third Country”. Mexico IS NOT designated as a “Safe Third Country” by the USA. While we are at it, our agreement with Canada is in jeopardy too as there is a court case in the Canadian courts right now to remove OUR designation as a “Safe Third Country” due to the numerous human rights violations at the southern border.
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    Wish this question contained the wording “someday”. By the way, has this NOT been the process for decades? Didn’t the seeker just walk into the Embassy and apply?
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    I don’t care where you do it, you just can’t come in until you’ve cleared paperwork and proper vetting. I don’t understand why this is so hard. LIKE MY TAKE? GIVE ME A FOLLOW
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    I strongly support providing the option to apply for asylum without arriving in the US. Under current law, asylum is only available upon arrival in the United States.
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    If asylum-seekers’ claims could be processed in their own countries that would reduce the number of people forced to travel to the U.S. border. . That would reduce the burden on our border patrol and would help asylum-seekers get to safety more efficiently. It would also mitigate vetting their claims so Trump will stop being such a horrible White Supremest about their claims.
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    This bill would undo the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the overall number of immigrants coming into the U.S. through what it says are false asylum claims. We should be making it harder, not easier, to enter the U.S. as an asylee.
    Like (5)
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    That’s not how asylum works. If people could stay safely in their home countries, they wouldn’t need asylum. This obtuse approach to immigration is exhausting.
    Like (5)
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    We should not put asylum seekers at risk by forcing them to travel to the US to get their cases heard. Accepting asylum application from embassies, consulates and similar American outposts would reduce the strain at our borders.
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    I’m with Kodiwodi and burrkitty!
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    They have always been able to apply for asylum in their own countries but prefer to force their way over the border for the economic benefits received from the American taxpayers and the opportunity to be released pending their trials that they never return for. They should be required to apply for asylum in their own country so our agencies have the opportunity to screen them prior to releasing them into the United States. This would save us billions of dollars and help ease the crisis at our border.
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