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For many years, the United States has granted political asylum to victims of persecution who come to our country and seek our protection. Now, however, Congress is on the verge of abolishing the right of political asylum.

Congress is not proposing to repeal the asylum provisions of the Refugee Act of 1980. An outright repeal would probably never pass, because many in Congress, recalling America's sorry treatment of refugees during the Holocaust, accept the humanitarian premises underlying asylum. Rather, the abolition is in the form of a new, apparently innocuous "procedural" requirement. The House Judiciary Committee recently adopted, as an amendment to this year's immigration reform act, a proviso that denies asylum to any person who applies for it more than thirty days after arriving in the United States. A Senate subcommittee has approved a similar proposal.

Publication Citation

10 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 93-94 (1996)