US To Deny Asylum To Immigrants Crossing Border Illegally

Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally

The restriction on asylum claims will seek to address what a senior administration official called the "historically unparalleled abuse of our immigration system" along the border with Mexico.

The move was spurred in part by caravans of Central American migrants slowly moving north on foot, but will apply to anyone caught crossing illegally, officials said.

The new rules will nearly certainly face court challenges.

Immigrant advocacy groups have complained that under Trump, U.S. border police have made it more hard for people to cross into the country at ports of entry and have outright turned away some migrants.

They said he would sign a proclamation Friday putting the new rules into effect before he leaves for a trip to Paris later in the day. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Rights Project, said.

When asked whether the goal of funneling people to the ports of entry was aimed at reducing the number of people who claim asylum, given the slow process and legal backlog, a senior official said "the intention is to be able to more quickly arrive at a determination for those who have legit claims" adding that they are working on "staffing models to ensure that we can handle the claims we will be seeing".

The regulation would "channel inadmissible aliens to ports of entry, where they would be processed in a controlled, orderly, and lawful manner", according to the statement. But the busy ports of entry already have long lines and waits, forcing immigration officials to tell some migrants to come back to make their claims.

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The announcement was the latest push to enforce Trump's hard-line stance on immigration through regulatory changes and presidential orders, bypassing Congress.

In nearly 50 percent of cases where Central American migrants passed their initial asylum-seeking screening, the migrant never appeared for their asylum hearing or did not even file an asylum application.

"The biggest loophole drawing illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or meritless asylum claims to gain entry into our great country", Mr. Trump said last week.

Trump said he was sending 15,000 active duty military to the border to deal with the problem, in what former President Barack Obama called a political 'stunt.' The troops began laying barbed wire as the migrants traveled toward the US on foot. 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.

The President also suggested he would revoke the right to citizenship for babies born to non-US citizens on American soil and erect massive "tent cities" to detain migrants.

In 2017, the USA fielded more than 330,000 asylum claims, almost double the number two years earlier and surpassing Germany as highest in the world.

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