Immigrants who come to the country seeking asylum are having a harder time being granted amnesty since President Trump took office, new data shows.
A total of 68 percent of immigrants who applied for asylum nationwide have been denied so far in 2019 and the numbers in the city have more than doubled since four years ago, according to data compiled by Syracuse University.
The number of denials have shot up dramatically since 2015, when only about 50 percent of asylum requests were denied nationwide and only 16 percent of migrants were denied for asylum in the city.
In other major cities, the increase has not been as pronounced as it has in New York.
San Francisco, which has a history of lax immigration policies, has seen 31 percent of asylum-seekers get denied in 2019 — compared with 25 percent in 2015.
Immigration lawyers told WNYC that a hardline approach started by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it more difficult to obtain asylum.
Sessions made a ruling in June of 2018 that made it harder for migrants to be granted asylum by claiming fear of domestic abuse or gang violence, according to The New York Times.
As a result of the ruling, immigration attorney Sofia Dee said government lawyers are scrutinizing applications more closely.
“They’re trying to attack their credibility, they’re trying to win — as opposed to determining, like, if this person really deserves asylum or not,” she said about the government lawyers, who work for the Department of Homeland Security.
President Trump has said that more stringent immigration policies are necessary to prevent a mass migration of dangerous criminals from poverty-stricken countries in Central America.
“We can’t take you anymore. I’m sorry. Can’t happen. So turn around,” Trump said about migrants during a trip to Calexico, California earlier this month.