Anyone can leave a comment on the Federal Register, and comments can be as simple as agreeing or disagreeing with the proposed rule. However, specific and descriptive explanations for your reasoning will have a greater impact on the rulemaking process.
The submission page on Regulations.gov has a list of tips for effective comments, but we’ve pulled together some key ideas below:
- Make sure to use your own words and submit a personalized comment. The agency can review comments before they are posted and choose not to post comments that appear to be duplicates or spam.
- Be clear and concise, and make sure to provide support for the claims made in your comment. For example, “Our asylum laws allow anyone on US soil to file an asylum claim within a year of entering the US, regardless of their immigration status. Barring those who cross between points of entry goes against decades of legal precedent.” would be a stronger argument than, “This regulation is unfair and cruel!”
- Prioritize the parts of the rule that you can speak to most confidently. It’s ok not to address every part of the rule, and to emphasize specific points that stand out to you.
- Include any professional credentials or personal experience that would lend weight to your claims. Stories of personal impact can go a long way: if you have firsthand knowledge of those who will be impacted by this rule, share that!
- When expressing disagreement with something, be sure to include a preferred alternative and explain your reasoning.
- It would be helpful to have a draft of your comment saved in case there are any issues with your submission and you have to resubmit your comment. The character limit on comments is 5,000.
- Keep in mind that the comments will be public as you consider what type of personal information is shared.
- Check out our brief summary of the rule for more context, or read more here for sample talking points on the proposed asylum change.
The latest proposed rule on asylum changes is posted on the Federal Register, and comments can be posted here: https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/USCIS-2022-0016-0001
The Federal Register number for the rule is 2023-03718 and comments are due by 11:59 EST on March 27, 2023.
If you would like support in writing or editing a comment before submission, please feel free to reach out to our team! Email our Community Engagement Coordinator, Raquel, to learn more!