Trump Administration Moves to Curb Migrants' Asylum Claims

Trump administration rolls out hard-line immigration policy drastically restricting asylum access at Mexican border

The new rules are subject to a presidential proclamation expected Friday in which Trump will invoke the same justification he did for the travel ban.

The issue of the country's loose asylum laws - where foreign nationals can claim that they fear for their lives in their native country and be released into the USA until their day in court - has sparked debate as a caravan of 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans heads to the U.S. About 4,800 migrants are sheltered in a sports complex in Mexico City, some 600 miles (965 kilometres) from the USA border.

Currently, US asylum rules do not bar people who enter the country without authorisation, and the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs the US immigration system, specifically allows people who arrive in the United States, whether or not they do so at a designated port of entry, to apply for asylum.

Sessions, who resigned at 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.

"This interim regulation is not only inconsistent with the letter of the law, but flatly contradicts it", Frelick said.

Administration officials have said existing U.S. asylum rules encouraged illegal immigration and bogged down legitimate claims.

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Administration officials said the new rule is contingent on a proclamation from President Donald Trump determining which migrants will be affected by the new regulation.

"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 Thursday, on condition of anonymity. It's unknown whether those in the caravan, many fleeing violence in their homeland, plan to cross illegally.

The 9th Circuit concluded that the Department of Homeland Security was wrong to assert that DACA is illegal, writing that the program is "a permissible exercise of executive discretion", and therefore those who have sought to challenge the administration's move to rescind it "are likely to succeed".

Although it's unclear how long the ruling will stay in place, it is certain that it's the result of the Latin American migrant caravan that Trump has likened to an "invasion". The military is expected to have the vast majority of the more than 7,000 troops planned for the mission deployed by Monday, and that number could grow. Criminalization of asylum seekers rather than compassion has created some of the most shameful policies I've ever witnessed in this country.

If an asylum seeker enters the USA illegally, they have been - until now - still entitled to a hearing of their claim. The migrants are largely poor people and many say they're fleeing violence; more than 1,700 were children under 18, and more than 300 were children under age 5.

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