Illegal border crossers now ineligible for asylum, White House says

Blanche Robertson
November 9, 2018

The sweeping move is part of the administration's ongoing effort to restrict migration.

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

Slate reported on November 5 that Kavanaugh has declined to "run interference" for Trump in three of his early rulings - when he declined to rule on the controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census; when he did not publicly share his vote on the deposition of former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and stayed mum on the court's decision to punt the legality of the citizenship question to a circuit court.

The Trump administration indicated that the president would follow through on an order to limit asylum claims to those made at ports of entry.

The new restrictions on asylum claims won't take effect until Trump issues a proclamation limiting or suspending entry into the USA from Mexico, according to the rule. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree".

"What we are attempting to do is trying to funnel. asylum claims through the ports of entry where we are better resourced, have better capabilities and better manpower and staffing to actually handle those claims in an expeditious and efficient manner", a senior administration official told reporters in a news briefing on Thursday, on condition of anonymity.

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Under the new rule, immigrants would have to make their asylum claim at an official point of entry, where it could be processed.

He called a current caravan, which is still hundreds of miles from the USA border and dwindling in numbers, an "invasion" and said it would bring hardened criminals to U.S. streets. He will invoke the same powers he used to push through a version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court, according to senior administration officials.

Mr Sessions, who resigned at Mr Trump's request this week, also instructed immigration judges and asylum officers to view illegal border-crossing as a "serious adverse factor" in deciding a case and to consider whether applicants could have escaped danger by relocating within their own countries. "We will resist this".

The busy ports of entry already had long lines and waits, forcing immigration officials to tell some migrants to come back to make their claims.

Administration officials said those denied asylum under the proclamation may be eligible for similar forms of protection if they fear returning to their countries, though they would be subject to a tougher threshold. It's unknown whether those in the caravan, many fleeing violence in their homeland, plan to cross illegally.

In 2017, the USA fielded more than 330,000 asylum claims, almost double the number two years earlier and surpassing Germany as highest in the world.

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