US Immigration Officials Move to Deny Asylum at Border 8 November 2018

Leroy Wright
November 9, 2018

A senior White House official said that the measure would address the "historically unparalleled abuse of our immigration system" along the border with Mexico.

The regulations released, in conjunction with an order expected to be signed by President Donald Trump, would effectively ban migrants who cross the United States border with Mexico illegally from qualifying for asylum.

President Donald Trump has blamed US asylum rules for luring thousands of migrants a year from Central American countries. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, in a statement.

Individuals are now allowed to apply for asylum whether they identify themselves at ports of entry or bypass them illegally to gain entry into the US.

Well, the president is invoking national emergency powers, national security powers, because he sees immigration as a national security, a crisis, really. But those efforts have been largely thwarted by legal challenges and, in the case of family separations this year, stymied by a global outcry that prompted Trump to scrap them.

The rule, as outlined by administration officials on a briefing call, is meant to crack down on people who jump the border illegally and then subsequently make asylum claims.

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally, November 4, 2018, in Macon, Ga.

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The move would limit the ability of migrants seeking asylum at the border. The decision notes, however, that this is not to say that Trump cannot end DACA at all, but that in this case, the administration "acted based on an erroneous view of what the law required".

Members of one of the migrant caravans riding on a truck in Donaji, Mexico, last week.

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

"President Trump's Proclamation is yet another attempt to destroy the United States´ long tradition to guarantee the fundamental human right to seek protection from life-threatening fear and persecution".

But the administration official argued that "what we're attempting to do is trying to funnel credible fear claims, or asylum claims, through the ports of entry where we are better resourced".

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

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