Feds announce new policy to limit asylum claims

09 November, 2018, 15:45 | Author: Carlos George
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The United States will no longer allow people who enter the country illegally to claim asylum, with officials unveiling a controversial new crackdown on immigration.

The rule, which prevents migrants from claiming asylum if they do not do so at an official border crossing, is the latest attempt by the White House to handle a surge in migration to the US from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The Trump administration is taking steps to tighten asylum rules for immigrants, something President Trump declared he would do last week ahead of Tuesday's midterms.

Administration officials have said existing USA asylum rules encourage illegal immigration and bog down legitimate claims. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, responded in in a statement.

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'.

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In speeches and on Twitter, Trump hammered away almost daily at "caravans" of a few thousand impoverished Central Americans that periodically attempt to walk up through Mexico and then gain entry to the United States. The new rules will nearly certainly face court challenges. I was on a call with a senior administration official today. It's unknown whether those in the caravan, many fleeing violence in their homeland, plan to cross illegally.

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.

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. Generally, only about 20 per cent of applicants are approved.

"Asylum-seekers have been left to camp out for days and weeks on bridges at the border, when they should be guaranteed a right to enter the country for a fair hearing".

The US president railed against the caravan in the lead up to the election, telling the refugees and migrants they would not be welcomed in the United States. About 4,800 migrants are sheltered in a sports complex in Mexico City, some 600 miles (965 kilometres) from the US border. 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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