Saturday, 17 November, 2018

U.S. proposes rule banning asylum for illegal migrants

Trump just announced a big change to immigration policy – and it will affect caravan migrants Trump just announced a big change to immigration policy – and it will affect caravan migrants
Andrew Cummings | 09 November, 2018, 22:59

The new rules is Trump's administration's latest move to limit the eligibility of individuals for asylum in the United States as part of its "zero tolerance" policy.

US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Friday suspending the entry of migrants through the US southern border between ports of entry for 90 days.

The Trump administration unveiled new rules on Thursday to sharply limit migrant asylum claims by barring individuals who cross the US southern border illegally from seeking asylum.

Migrants would only be eligible for asylum if they came through official ports of entry.

On a call with reporters Thursday, senior White House officials said the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security were issuing a new interim rule that would restrict who can make a valid asylum claim.

The administration has long said immigration officials are drowning in asylum cases partly because people falsely claim asylum and then live in the USA with work permits.

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The decision comes amid a huge crisis, as some 7,000 migrants, according to United Nations estimates, are moving towards the U.S. southern border in a bid to obtain asylum.

Later, at a campaign rally in Missouri, Trump offered additional remarks on the topic, saying, "Under this plan, the illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into the country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum". At Trump's request, the Department of Defense has already deployed 5,600 military personnel to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Currently, there are more than 5,600 U.S. troops deployed to the border mission, with about 550 actually working on the border in Texas.

In June, then-attorney general Jeff Sessions issued an appellate decision that sharply narrowed the circumstances under which immigrants could use violence at home as grounds for U.S. asylum.

But directing the migrants to the official ports could create massive backups among applicants on the Mexican side of the border. Backlogs have become especially bad in recent months at crossings in California, Arizona and Texas, with some people waiting five weeks to try to claim asylum at San Diego's main crossing.

Less than 10 per cent of cases result in asylum being granted, the government says. The U.S. took in approximately 200,000 refugees per year in 1980, and the total had never fallen below 70,000 before Trump entered office. Those moves have been challenged in court. The caravan is now around 600 miles from the United States. Before the midterm elections, Trump mulled ending birthright citizenship - the policy that ensures all children born on U.S. soil are automatically citizens - by executive order. Most have passed largely unnoticed.

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