'Terrorist Victim or Perpetrator? Foreign Solutions to Challenges Posed by the U.S.’s Terrorist Bars to Asylum,'

2020 International Comparative, Policy and Ethical Law Review of Cardoza School of Law.

Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law (JICL), Vol. 3, No. 3, Spring 2020

75 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2020 Last revised: 4 Jan 2021

See all articles by Stephanie Cooper Blum

Stephanie Cooper Blum

Department of Homeland Security ; Center Homeland Security and Defense; Yale University; University of Chicago Law School

Nadav Morag

Independent

Date Written: September 10, 2019

Abstract

This article analyzes the challenges presented by the U.S.’s Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds (“TRIG”) for asylum applicants and looks overseas for potential solutions. TRIG is the method by which the U.S. government bars terrorists and those who materially support terrorism from obtaining asylum and related protections. TRIG, however, is overbroad and inefficient, encompassing terrorist victims who currently pose and never posed any threat to U.S. security. Specifically, TRIG does not consider duress, or the provision of trivial support, when analyzing whether applicants should be barred from asylum because of material support of terrorism. Additionally,current law defines a terrorist organization for immigration purposes to include any group of two or more people who violently oppose a governing regime, even if that group poses (and posed) no threat to U.S. security. While there is a subsequent “waiver” process to mitigate some of these incongruous results, this process is highly inefficient and time-consuming, making it largely unrealistic as a sound option for those denied asylum due to TRIG.

In searching for potential solutions, this article considers the United Kingdom and Australia—two key U.S. allies who similarly confront international terrorism—to see if their terrorism-related bars to asylum are more narrowly-tailored and efficient to capture individuals who actually pose a present threat to their respective societies. This article concludes that our allies’ processes, while far from perfect, provide a more efficient, just, and accurate method of identifying genuine terrorist threats. Hence, the U.S. should consider adopting aspects of their approaches and revising TRIG so it encompasses present threats to the U.S.’s security instead of relying on overbroad generalizations that actually ensnare terrorist victims along with actual terrorists.

Keywords: immigration, Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds, asylum

Suggested Citation

Blum, Stephanie Cooper and Morag, Nadav, 'Terrorist Victim or Perpetrator? Foreign Solutions to Challenges Posed by the U.S.’s Terrorist Bars to Asylum,' (September 10, 2019). 2020 International Comparative, Policy and Ethical Law Review of Cardoza School of Law. , Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law (JICL), Vol. 3, No. 3, Spring 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3690082

Stephanie Cooper Blum (Contact Author)

Department of Homeland Security ( email )

United States

Center Homeland Security and Defense ( email )

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

Nadav Morag

Independent ( email )

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