Trump administration moves to crack down on asylum claims

Trump administration rolls out hard-line immigration policy drastically restricting asylum access at Mexican border

Trump administration rolls out hard-line immigration policy drastically restricting asylum access at Mexican border

The Trump administration announced a new immigration rule Thursday that will block migrants from seeking asylum if they fail to cross the us border at an official port of entry.

President Donald Trump has blamed US asylum rules for luring thousands of migrants a year from Central American countries.

The regulations released, in conjunction with an order expected to be signed by President Donald Trump, would effectively ban migrants who cross the U.S. border with Mexico illegally from qualifying for asylum.

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

The American Civil Liberties Union, which defends constitutional rights, said that the right to request asylum must be granted to anyone entering the country.

They are meant to speed up rulings on asylum claims, instead of having migrants try to circumvent official crossings on the almost 2,000-mile border.

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

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'.

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"The vast majority of these applications eventually turn out to be non-meritorious", a senior administration official said, asking not to be identified. It's unknown whether those in the caravan, many fleeing violence in their homeland, plan to cross illegally.

Mr Trump is expected to sign a proclamation on Friday introducing what would be a major step to restrict asylum claims.

Those issues were not addressed by the regulations.

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. They said that the asylum - well, this is something that we know.

"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".

Less than 10 per cent of cases result in asylum being granted, the government says.

If an asylum seeker enters the United States illegally, they have been - until now - still entitled to a hearing of their claim. They are now about 600 miles (965 kilometers) away. The migrants are largely poor people and many say they're fleeing violence; more than 1,700 were children under 18, and more than 300 were children under age 5.

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