Trump signs proclamation denying migrant asylum

09 November, 2018, 22:59 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Trump administration rolls out hard-line immigration policy drastically restricting asylum access at Mexican border

The administration invoked powers meant to keep Americans safe from national security threats in unveiling the new rule-continuing to portray the refugees as a risky group as Trump and other Republicans did leading up to the midterm elections.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at halting the flow of migrants seeking to cross into the United States without papers, majority requesting asylum due to violence in their home countries.

A caravan of thousands of migrants, mainly from Honduras, is now making its way through Mexico.

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.

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

Administration officials said those denied asylum under the proclamation may be eligible for similar forms of protection if they fear returning to their countries, though they would be subject to a tougher threshold. More than 5,000 United States troops have already been deployed to the border, and Trump said the number could rise to 15,000.

Under the proposed rule changes, migrants who cross illegally would be ineligible for asylum, but they could still be spared from deportation by qualifying for a lesser status known as "withholding of removal".

Under worldwide and federal law, Trump is required to grant asylum to anyone who credibly claims to have left a unsafe home country in order to come to the USA, regardless of where the asylum seeker enters the country.

"US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum whether or not they are at a port of entry", it said.

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He ordered troops to the border and declared the migrants to be an "invasion".

The American Civil Liberties Union, a group that defends individual rights, declared the move "illegal".

"Asylum-seekers have been left to camp out for days and weeks on bridges at the border, when they should be guaranteed a right to enter the country for a fair hearing".

While there has been a recent spike in asylum claims, the number of illegal crossings at the southern border is a fraction of the totals seen from the late 1980s through the early 2000s.

The move would largely affect migrants from Central America's Northern Triangle - Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - who cross the US border with Mexico to flee violence and poverty in their home countries.

Mr. Trump has also threatened to end birthright citizenship through executive order, although he has yet to do so.

It's unclear how many people en route to the USA will even make it to the border.

Similar caravans have gathered regularly over the years and have generally dwindled by the time they reach the southern border.

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