Trump administration takes step to tighten asylum system

Trump just announced a big change to immigration policy – and it will affect caravan migrants

Mr Trump has ordered thousands of United States troops to the border, claiming the migrant caravan is an "invasion" as he focused on immigration in the run-up to November's United States mid-term elections.

The fast-track regulation is nearly certain to trigger legal challenges, Politico reported, even as the announcement of the new measure suggests the president won't ease up on an immigration crackdown that defined his campaign - and first two years in office. Instead, thanks to the Democratic Party's insistence on open borders, a dysfunctional system was created where people who sneaked into the country and got caught already in the United States were allowed to retroactively claim they were asylum seekers.

Migrants who cross the southern USA border illegally will no longer be eligible for asylum under a new rule, the Trump administration has said.

The interim final rule asserts that the administration can effect these changes under its regulatory authority, but in fact the rule represents an unlawful attempt to change the letter of the statute by regulation.

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

Being tough on immigration was the focus of his midterm election campaign.

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The regulation will also amend the screening process for aliens subject to a bar on asylum eligibility, a senior administration official said.

The goal appears to be to try to siphon would-be illegal immigrants to those ports of entry and away from jumping the border.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which defends constitutional rights, said that the right to request asylum must be granted to anyone entering the country. Trump announced Thursday that he would make such a move.

The new rule is nearly certain to be challenged in courts.

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. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the USA will make up almost 15 percent of the entire US population. The caravan is now around 600 miles from the United States. Several smaller groups were trailing hundreds of miles to the south; officials estimated about 7,000 in all were in the country in the caravans.

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

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