Trump signs proclamation limiting asylum seekers

Marsha Scott
November 10, 2018

The executive action is the latest the President has taken to clamp down on illegal immigration and to discourage the group of migrants now traveling through Mexico, many of whom want to seek asylum in the USA, from making their way toward the country. The president has also said massive tent cities are being built to house asylum seekers indefinitely until their claims are processed. "Under current practice, border agents are repeatedly turning asylum-seekers away and telling them to come back another day".

The Trump administration announced new measures Thursday that would deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally, invoking emergency national security powers to curb long-standing humanitarian protections for foreigners who arrive on American soil.

The interim final rule asserts that the administration can effect these changes under its regulatory authority, but in fact the rule represents an unlawful attempt to change the letter of the statute by regulation.

Currently, migrants who enter the United States illegally between ports of entry are able to apply for asylum.

Trump's proclamation puts into practice regulations adopted by immigration officials on Thursday.

Immigration was a major focus in Mr Trump's mid-term election campaign.

Senior administration officials hope the effort to make asylum claims more orderly will help speed up the process of assessing and adjudicating the claims.

The ban drew multiple legal challenges and forced the administration to issue three different versions before a revised ban was upheld in June by the Supreme Court on a 5 to 4 vote.

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"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, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Ports of entry. are overcrowded", said Jonathan Ryan, executive director of Texas-based Refugees and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

Claims have spiked in recent years, and there is a backlog of more than 800,000 cases pending in immigration court.

The new rules is Trump's administration's latest move to limit the eligibility of individuals for asylum in the United States as part of its "zero tolerance" policy.

Thousands of people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have fled poverty and violence in their homelands and made their way to the United States.

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It's unclear how many people en route to the US will even make it to the border. The caravan is now around 600 miles from the United States. More than 1,700 were children under 18, and more than 300 were children under age five.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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