Connect with us

Politics

Trump adjusts asylum policy as migrant caravans near

Published

on


migrant caravan
U.S.-bound
Central American migrants begin their morning trek with a free
ride on a truck as they leave Cordoba, Veracruz state, Mexico,
Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

Associated
Press/Rodrigo Abd


  • The Trump administration on Thursday took its first steps
    toward restricting asylum to immigrants who cross the border into
    the United States illegally.
  • The changes are coming as multiple caravans of thousands of
    Central American migrants make their way to the US through
    Mexico.
  • Many of them have said they intend to request asylum.
  • Immigration and civil liberties advocates have repeatedly
    said that the Trump administration’s efforts will contravene
    domestic and international law, which allow migrants to seek
    asylum no matter how they enter.

The Trump administration on Thursday made its first move toward
barring asylum to immigrants who cross the border illegally, as
President Donald Trump has been promising for weeks ahead of a
slow-moving caravan of Central American migrants traveling to the
United States.

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday released documents outlining the new
restrictions, which are set to be published to the Federal
Register on Friday morning. The documents say that the changes
won’t take effect until Trump issues a proclamation.

“Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the
broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into
the United States if he determines it to be in the national
interest to do so,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a joint
statement announcing the changes.

They added: “Today, we are using the authority granted to us by
Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of
entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”

The changes come as multiple caravans of thousands of migrants
remain in Mexico, grappling over what route to take to the
US-Mexico border. Many of the caravan members have said they
intend to seek asylum in the US, though it’s unclear whether they
plan to request it after crossing the border illegally or after
reaching a legal port of entry.

Immigration and civil liberties advocates have repeatedly said
the Trump administration’s efforts will contravene domestic and
international law, which allow migrants to seek asylum no matter
how they enter.

“US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum
whether or not they are at a port of entry. It is illegal to
circumvent that by agency or presidential decree,” Omar Jadwat of
the American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday in a
statement.

Read more:
Trump rages against migrant caravans in long, bizarre press
conference, vows to bar asylum claims from people who cross the
border illegally

In a briefing with reporters Thursday afternoon, senior
administration officials said the changes were an attempt to
“funnel” credible asylum claims through the ports of entry, where
border officials would be better equipped to handle the volume.

The senior administration officials also called the current
asylum system — which is currently backlogged with roughly
800,000 cases — a “full-fledged and very large crisis.”

They argued that the changes would reduce the amount of
illegitimate asylum claims, paving the way for legitimate
asylum-seekers to get a fair hearing.

“It’s important just to remind people that those who enter
between the ports of entry are knowingly and voluntarily breaking
the law. It’s a federal crime. People can and do go to jail for
that every single day,” one official said. “While immigration
laws do afford people various forms of protection, the reality is
that it’s a violation of federal law in the manner that these
illegal aliens are entering the country.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending