Trump signs order denying asylum to illegal border crossers

Trump signs order denying asylum to illegal border crossers

Trump signs order denying asylum to illegal border crossers

Officials say the new policy is grounded in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Donald Trump's administration has unveiled new rules to sharply limit migrant asylum claims by barring individuals who cross the U.S. southern border illegally from seeking asylum. They go into effect Saturday and don't affect people who are already in the country. Trump plans to issue the proclamation on Friday, an administration official who asked not to be identified told reporters in a briefing.

"Congress has directly spoken to this question as to whether individuals can be rendered ineligible for asylum if they cross between ports of entry and has specifically said people are eligible regardless of where they cross", said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

"We do this because of our obligations under global law and who we are as a country, and what we understand our role to be in terms of protecting people fleeing persecution", added Jadwat, who said ACLU attorneys have been anticipating the measures and reviewing legal options.

The move would largely affect migrants from Central America's Northern Triangle - Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - who cross the United States border with Mexico to flee violence and poverty in their home countries.

"The narrative that people seeking refuge are a security threat is a manufactured crisis by the Trump administration rooted in the politics of hate and fear".

He ordered troops to the border and declared the migrants to be an "invasion".

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The new restrictions are expected to be challenged in court.

Mr. Trump has also threatened to end birthright citizenship through executive order, although he has yet to do so. Generally, only about 20 percent of applicants are approved. Those issues were not addressed by the regulations.

The interim final rule posted Thursday from the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security would bar immigrants who cross the "southern border unlawfully" from "eligibility for asylum".

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials defend the practice on the grounds that the border crossings are not equipped to process hundreds of asylum seekers daily, and officers must continue to facilitate ordinary cross-border travel and trade while protecting the country from terrorists and drug runners. Backlogs have become especially bad in recent months at crossings in California, Arizona and Texas, with some people waiting five weeks to try to claim asylum at San Diego's main crossing.

It's unclear how many people en route to the the current caravans will even make it to the border. About 4,800 migrants are sheltered in a sports complex in Mexico City, some 600 miles (965 kilometers) from the USA border.

Similar caravans have gathered regularly over the years and have generally dwindled by the time they reach the USA border.

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