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Final Rule Restricts Asylum on Public Health Grounds

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The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have issued a final rule that would allow the barring of individuals seeking asylum if the person is ruled to be a danger to the U.S. based on public health concerns. 

Specifically, the rule would amend the definition of danger to include that a person can be ruled a threat to national security based on communicable disease due to the potential risks from the spread of pandemics when making asylum determinations. If the individual is found to be a public health risk, the person could be denied asylum or the protection of withholding of removal from the U.S.  

The final rule is effective Jan. 22.