Homeland security secretary and acting attorney general issued new restrictive regulation on those who cross border illegally
Late on Thursday afternoon, the Trump administration announced new restrictions on asylum-seekers at the border with Mexico, in a move that experts said violated immigration laws.
The new regulation declares that people can apply for asylum along the US-Mexican border only at official ports of entry.
Trump will soon announce which countries are affected by the crackdown, which the government regards as an emergency measure but comes in the face of hostile rhetoric from the president where he has repeatedly described desperate Central Americans fleeing places blighted by poverty and violence to seek succor in the US as an invasion.
However, the Immigration and Nationality Act says very clearly that any person can apply for asylum whether or not at a designated port of arrival, said Tom Jawetz, vice-president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, in a statement.
Read more The Trump administration has a track record of proclaiming illegal immigration restrictions that are later thrown out in court, beginning with multiple travel bans the White House attempted to impose shortly after Trumps inauguration. A narrow and temporary version of Trumps travel ban was allowed to take effect.
In its rush to obstruct asylum seekers, the administration is attempting an end run around the law, said Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council. Congress has spoken clearly. Individuals are not required to ask for asylum at a port of entry. Any person in the United States must have access to the asylum process.
The rule would bar such aliens from eligibility for asylum and thereby channel inadmissible aliens to ports of entry, where they would be processed in a controlled, orderly, and lawful manner.
Donald Trump takes huge step in crackdown on asylum for migrants at US-Mexico border
Motivated by a sense of moral purpose and in accordance with international norms settled after the second world war, the United States accepts asylum applicants who fear persecution in their home countries due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
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.
Just under 40,000 applications for asylum in the United States were made by Mexicans and Central Americans in the five fiscal years from 2011 through 2016, while about 35,000 came from China, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (Trac), a data-gathering organization at Syracuse University.
The policy, revealed in a new rule published in the Federal Register, would make people ineligible for asylum if they cross the U.S. southern border illegally.
The rejection rate of more than 80% for Mexican and Central American asylum-seekers is far higher, however, than the rejection rate for Chinese asylum-seekers, 22%. Trac figures indicate that a couple of hundred Mexicans at most are granted US asylum each year.
But if the new Trump regulations seemed ill-equipped to ease pressure on the overwhelmed US asylum system, they could serve the purpose of tying Trumps political identity even more tightly to Americans concerns about immigrants from Central America and Mexico.
Trump unveils hard-line immigration policy that limits asylum
In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, Trump raised alarm about an invasion of immigrants from the south and even deployed the US military to the border – in an operation that the administration and media wholly dropped after the elections.
Those forms of protection include “withholding of removal” — which is similar to asylum, but does not allow for green cards or bringing families — or asylum under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
US immigration officials move to curb asylum claims
While the administration clearly felt an urgent need to politicize the plight of a group of people – mostly mothers and children – traveling slowly through Mexico in advance of Tuesdays midterm elections, that hardly provides the urgency needed to justify putting this cruel policy in place without first hearing from the public, Jawetz said.
With the Trump administration, its useful to remember that as much as they embrace fear-mongering and anti-immigrant bias for their perceived political benefits, they are also committed to furthering an anti-immigrant and anti-refugee agenda every single day.
The new Trump policy was signed by the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, the lead apologist for Trumps policy of family separations at the border, and by the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, whose appointment on Wednesday was deemed plainly illegal by John Yoo, who crafted the George W Bush administrations legal argument for torture.
The Trump administration has announced that people who enter the United States illegally will no longer be able to claim asylum.
The restriction is designed to deter migrants from entering the country, including a caravan of South American refugees making their way toward the US-Mexico border. It was published last night and awaiting the presidents signature.
Trumps asylum ban, explained
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 American Civil Liberties Union, which defends constitutional rights, said that the right to request asylum must be granted to anyone entering the country. US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum whether or not they are at a port of entry. It is…
Accordingly, if the president issues a suspension or ban on entry through the US/Mexican border, those who illegally manage to enter the US will not be allowed to apply for asylum once there.
Administration Moves to Curb Migrants Asylum Claims
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