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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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August 15, 2019


Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 21 attorneys general, today filed a comment letter opposing the federal government’s attempt to illegally limit access to the asylum process.

Under the rule, individuals entering the United States at the southern border, except in limited circumstances, are no longer able to seek asylum unless they applied for and were denied protection in at least one country they traveled through prior to their arrival.

“I urge the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to rescind this illegal policy,” Raoul said. “Efforts to limit individuals who can seek asylum are inhumane and contrary to American values. I will continue to oppose the federal government’s attempts to close our borders to people seeking refuge in our country.”

In the comment letter, Raoul and the coalition maintain that, among other things, the rule violates both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Administrative Procedure Act. Under the INA, any foreign national may apply for asylum upon their arrival to the United States. The INA sets forth very specific circumstances under which an individual can be barred from asylum, and provides protections for particularly vulnerable groups. The federal government failed to provide adequate notice or a reasoned explanation for the rule, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Additionally, the rule will have a particularly negative effect on unaccompanied children, LGBTQ applicants, and women asylum-seekers, for whom applying for asylum in a third country is extremely dangerous.

Joining Raoul in submitting the comment letter are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.


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