The asylum process may seem to many in Louisville to be a fairly straightforward process; one comes into the U.S. seeking asylum, and a determination is then made. Yet given the complexity that often comes with immigration issues, it may come as no surprise to some that being granted asylum is not that simple. One recent development that has served to complicate matters is the third country rule.

Per the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, this rule requires that those entering into the United States through the country’s southern border that pass through other countries on the way to the U.S. must first seek asylum in those countries before being granted it locally. This new law has stirred up its share of controversy since its enactment, yet its application has already been employed.

Indeed, a recent example includes the case of three young adults for whom Guatemala was designated their safe third country. The trio (one of whom is from El Salvador, while the other two are from Honduras) were flown out of Arizona to Guatemala, where they were greeted by local officials waiting to help them with the transition. Though the three had hoped to gain asylum in the U.S., the move to Guatemala was allowed under the new federal statute.

There are some who argue about the legality of this new rule; only time will tell if it enforced over the long-term. Yet those seeking asylum in the U.S. may be forced to deal with it. Thus, learning its details now may help them know what to expect when they arrive on American soil. An experienced immigration attorney may be a good source of information regarding this new law.