Trump administration moves to restrict asylum claims by migrants

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

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.

Central American migrants, part of a caravan traveling to the US-Mexico border, walk on a road near Isla municipality, Veracruz, Mexico, Nov. 3, 2018.

According to the new rule: 'In recent years, the United States has seen a large increase in the number and proportion of inadmissible aliens subject to expedited removal who assert an intent to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution during that process and are subsequently placed into removal proceedings in immigration court'.

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".

"Congress has directly spoken to this question as to whether individuals can be rendered ineligible for asylum if they cross between ports of entry and has specifically said people are eligible regardless of where they cross", said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

This summer, multiple news outlets reported that hundreds of migrants who had legally presented themselves to USA agents at official ports of entry, like San Ysidro, California and El Paso, Texas, were told that their asylum requests could not be processed.

"Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it", the Department of Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, said in a joint statement.

"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 on Thursday, on condition of anonymity.

He called a current caravan, which is still hundreds of miles from the United States border and dwindling in numbers, an "invasion" and said it would bring hardened criminals to U.S. streets.

Less than 10 percent of cases result in asylum being granted, the government says. "We will resist this". "An alien simply crosses the border illegally, finds a border patrol agent, and using well-coached language by lawyers and others that stand there and try to get fees or whatever they can get".

Last week, he said he would be taking steps to limit asylum claims.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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