Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

US to deny asylum to illegal border crossers

US to deny asylum to illegal border crossers

The administration issued a new policy Thursday that would give President Trump power to block asylum claims from the migrant caravan and other illegal immigrants who jump the U.S. -Mexico border.

The rule 'would bar such aliens from eligibility for asylum and thereby channel inadmissible aliens to ports of entry, where they would be processed in a controlled, orderly, and lawful manner'.

"US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum whether or not they are at a port of entry", said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project. "Since 2017, Amnesty has documented that thousands of people already wait for weeks on end at the ports of entry, and others have been wrongfully turned away by USA border officials as they attempt to seek protection".

A senior administration official said the White House hopes that by funneling asylum claimants to ports of entry, officials will be able to assess and adjudicate the claims more rapidly.

In speeches and on Twitter, Trump hammered away almost daily at "caravans" of a few thousand impoverished Central Americans that periodically attempt to walk up through Mexico and then gain entry to the United States.

In 2018, border patrols have registered more than 400,000 illegal border crossers, homeland security said. The new rule is nearly certain to be challenged in courts.

Mr Sessions, who resigned at Mr Trump's request this week, also instructed immigration judges and asylum officers to view illegal border-crossing as a "serious adverse factor" in deciding a case and to consider whether applicants could have escaped danger by relocating within their own countries.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA 208 (b)(2)(C)) unambiguously states that ineligibility grounds for asylum established by regulation must be "consistent with" section 208 of the INA, which explicitly says that aliens may lodge asylum claims "not at a designated port of entry".

Immigration was a major focus in President Trump's 2018 mid-term election campaign.

US Army troops enter a compound where the military is erecting an encampment near the US-Mexico border crossing at Donna, Texas.

"The vast majority of aliens who enter illegally today come from the Northern Triangle countries, and large portions of those aliens assert a credible fear", the regulation's text says.

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

If an asylum seeker enters the U.S. illegally, they have been - until now - still entitled to a hearing of their claim. Humanitarian aid converged around the stadium in Mexico City where thousands of Central American migrants winding their way toward the United States were resting Tuesday after an arduous trek that has taken them through three countries in three weeks.

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