Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally

Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally

The Trump administration announced Thursday that migrants who attempt to cross the U.S. -Mexico border illegally will not be eligible to claim asylum under a new rule meant to crack down on "meritless" claims.

"Although the Trump administration expects to be enjoined and stopped in the near term", one of the officials told NBC, "they believe a policy based on the discretionary authority of the president over who is admitted to the us will ultimately hold up in the Supreme Court".

The order would force migrants seeking to apply for asylum to do so only at ports of entry, and not after stepping onto USA soil illegally.

A group of Central American migrants, representing the thousands participating in a caravan trying to reach the USA border, undertake an hours-long march to the office of the United Nations' humans rights body in Mexico City, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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

The American Civil Liberties Union said that right of asylum must be granted to anyone entering the country, regardless of where they were.

The new rule is nearly certain to be challenged in courts. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree". More than 7,000 active duty troops could eventually be deployed, Defense Department officials said.

White House insiders admit that Donald Trump expects his administration will be sued over its latest immigration policy - but with Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, he expects to win those suits.


Immigrant advocates denounced the administration's move as unlawful, and said the plan to funnel migrants to ports of entry was just a way to cut asylum claims overall.

He called a current caravan, which is still hundreds of miles from the U.S. border and dwindling in numbers, an "invasion" and said it would bring hardened criminals to U.S. streets.

"The vast majority of aliens who enter illegally today come from the Northern Triangle countries, and large portions of those aliens assert a credible fear", the regulation's text says.

Over time, the number of asylum claims has jumped markedly in recent years, an indication the administration says immigrants are tailoring their responses to claim asylum without merit.

"Those who enter the country between ports are knowingly and voluntarily breaking the law", one unnamed official told reporters, the Post reported.

In 2018, border patrols have registered more than 400,000 illegal border crossers, homeland security said.

If an asylum seeker enters the USA illegally, they have been - until now - still entitled to a hearing of their claim. And in the last five years, the number of those requesting asylum has increased by 2,000 percent, it said.

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