New Asylum Policy: The Race Against Time to Find a Lawyer

The new asylum policy imposes a significant challenge: migrants must consult with a lawyer within just four hours before starting the deportation process. This decision has been heavily criticized by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which considers it inhumane and impractical. Many migrants flee extreme violence or unsustainable economic conditions, also facing language barriers that further complicate obtaining adequate legal representation in such a short time. 


Necessary Immigration Reform 

The American Immigration Lawyers Association urges Congress to reform the immigration system, arguing that: 

  • Immigrants should have the opportunity to work where workers are needed. 
  • Many of them face a legitimate fear of persecution. 
  • Others seek to escape desperate economic situations. 

A fair immigration system is essential to allow asylum-seeking immigrants to settle and contribute positively to the country. 


Impact of Accelerated Deportation 

Under the new policy, those immigrants who cross the border without documents are processed for accelerated deportation, although they can apply for asylum if they have valid reasons. The major limitation is time: only four hours to find a lawyer. Previously, there were 24 hours for this process, a time drastically reduced by the current and previous administrations. This reduction is justified as a way to streamline processes, but at the expense of migrants’ rights. 


Efficiency vs. Human Rights 

These decisions may optimize administrative management, although this apparent efficiency comes with a significant human cost. The lack of time to secure adequate legal representation for migrants can lead to hasty and unjust decisions, negatively impacting the lives of the asylum seekers involved in these procedures. 


Measures with a Grim Outlook 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has defended these new policies, arguing that they already deter some undocumented immigration. However, doubts remain about whether these measures truly address the fundamental causes of migration and if they are fair to those desperately seeking for a better life. 

This situation underscores the urgent need for immigration reform that balances border security with justice and compassion. Only with a fairer and more efficient system can migration be managed more effectively and humanely.