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Grassley Statement on Presidential Proclamation Regarding Asylum Process

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued the following statement regarding today’s Presidential Proclamation regarding the asylum process and a safe third country agreement with Mexico.
“President Trump made the right decision with today’s Presidential Proclamation. Along with the interim final rule issued by both the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, today’s proclamation ensures that all asylum claims must come through our ports of entry. Anyone who illegally crosses our border will be ineligible for asylum. Asylum is supposed to protect only those vulnerable people across the world who have a credible fear of persecution based on their ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. I’ve long advocated for sensible and compassionate asylum reform in accordance with original congressional intent. Both the joint rule and the proclamation are welcome first steps. This policy will promote a safe, orderly and centralized asylum process that discourages illegal immigration.
“I also appreciate the action taken by the Trump Administration to initiate a safe third country agreement with Mexico, as I requested last month.  Two weeks ago I wrote to Secretaries Nielsen and Pompeo urging the Administration to execute a safe third country agreement with the Mexican government, requiring asylum seekers to make their claims in their first country of arrival. Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed they would raise this issue with the incoming Mexican President’s administration, and today’s proclamation further affirmed the Trump administration’s commitment to pursuing such an agreement. I look forward to working with the President and the Administration going forward to solve the crisis at our border and to set the tone for American sovereignty in the twenty-first century.”
At the end of October, Senator Grassley and Senator Lee called on the administration to seek an agreement with Mexico to assist in accommodating asylum claims of individuals traveling through that country. On Wednesday, the State Department responded in a letter to Grassley committing to raise the issue with the incoming Mexican President’s administration.