Trump's Proclamation to Restrict the Rights of People Seeking Asylum

Posted November 09, 2018

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a "interim final rule" stipulating that any and all immigrants who illegally cross into the US' southern border with Mexico will be deemed ineligible to apply for asylum.

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.

Once the plan goes into full effect, migrants entering at the USA southern border would be eligible for asylum only if they report at official ports of entry, officials said.

The American Civil Liberties Union swiftly declared the move "illegal".

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Administration officials have said existing United States asylum rules encouraged illegal immigration and bogged down legitimate claims.

But the asylum restrictions are the latest attempts by the administration to assert executive powers to restrict immigrants and foreigners from entering the United States.

Officials have turned away asylum seekers at border crossings because of overcrowding, telling them to return later.

Thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asylum rules were reformed to prevent migrants from receiving asylum by claiming they are fleeing violence, gangs, or domestic abuse.

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Separately on Thursday, a federal appeals court in California ruled that Trump can not immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields from deportation young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at halting the flow of migrants seeking to cross into the United States without papers, a lot of them requesting asylum due to violence in their home countries. The sweeping move is part of the administration's ongoing effort to restrict migration.

The order would force migrants seeking to apply for asylum to do so only at ports of entry, and not after stepping onto USA soil illegally. The new rule is nearly certain to be challenged in courts. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. Nonetheless, it would still give those who cross illegally a way to get into the immigration court backlog and released from custody, especially those who are traveling with children. These are not eligible asylum claims.

Trump has also expressed an interest in ending birthright citizenship to those born to non-citizens and for ending the the so-called DACA protections of those who've been in the US for years but were brought into the country illegally while children.

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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. The caravan is now around 600 miles from the United States. Several smaller groups were trailing hundreds of kilometres to the south; officials estimated about 7,000 in all were in the country in the caravans. There's 5,000 people that were doing that in 20 - in 2008.