United States proposes rule banning asylum for illegal migrants

Larry Hoffman
November 9, 2018

"We need people in our country but they have to come in legally and they have to have merit", Trump told reporters on Friday, before departing for Paris.

Once the plan goes into full effect, migrants entering at the US southern border would be eligible for asylum only if they report at official ports of entry, officials said.

The rule, which is likely to be challenged in court by pro-immigration groups, was spurred in part by caravans of Central American migrants walking toward the border.

The White House announced Thursday that it will crack down on "meritless" claims of asylum by illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border.

"In its rush to obstruct asylum seekers, the administration is attempting an end run around the law", Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council, told the Guardian. They are now about 600 miles away.

Migrants who show up at ports of entry demanding asylum would still be permitted.

USA asylum seekers would be given a hearing no matter how they arrived in the country until Mr Trump signed Friday's proclamation. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

According to DHS, the department has seen a 2,000 percent increase since 2013 in migrants claiming that they have "credible fear" of persecution should they return to their home country. Nonetheless, it would still give those who cross illegally a way to get into the immigration court backlog and released from custody, especially those who are traveling with children.

The current policy allows migrants - no matter how they entered the United States - up to a year to make an asylum claim.

"We do this because of our obligations under worldwide law and who we are as a country, and what we understand our role to be in terms of protecting people fleeing persecution", added Jadwat, who said ACLU attorneys have been anticipating the measures and reviewing legal options.

But US officials said that as Mexico is the first safe country US-bound migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras arrive in, the asylum claims should be presented there.

Trump has also expressed an interest in ending birthright citizenship to those born to non-citizens and for ending the the so-called DACA protections of those who've been in the usa for years but were brought into the country illegally while children.

About 4,800 migrants are sheltered in a sports complex in Mexico City, some 965 kilometres from the USA border.

Similar caravans have gathered regularly over the years and have generally dwindled by the time they reach the US border.

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