Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump signs proclamation denying migrant asylum

Trump signs proclamation denying migrant asylum

Illegal migrants entering through the southern USA border will no longer be eligible for asylum under a new rule, the Trump administration has said.

The new measures would deny asylum to those who breach any presidential restriction on entry. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Rights groups have called the move "illegal".

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

The issue of the country's loose asylum laws - where foreign nationals can claim that they fear for their lives in their native country and be released into the US until their day in court - has sparked debate as a caravan of 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans heads to the U.S.

According to an administration official, the president plans to sign the order as soon as tomorrow. Without offering evidence, Mr Trump repeatedly suggested the caravan was politically motivated.

Those who "violate the terms of this suspension/restriction on entry will be rendered ineligible for asylum", said a DOJ official.

The rule will not apply retroactively.

The National Immigration Law Center tweeted that "once again, Trump seeks to divide us by preying upon people in most need of help".

Under global law, those who do have a serious fear of persecution are considered refugees. Under the old rule, any immigrant in the country illegally arrested anywhere could instantly claim asylum and a case had to be filed for them, taking up resources and valuable time from an already overburdened asylum system.

"Congress very specifically said you can apply for asylum if you arrive in the United States regardless of whether you're at a port of entry", said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project.

Currently, migrants who enter the United States illegally between ports of entry are able to apply for asylum. Rights groups call rules unconstitutional and a violation of global law.

Secretary General Kumi Naidoo issued a statement attacking the president's "dehumanising rhetoric".

Less than 10 per cent of cases result in asylum being granted, the government says. "They hurt thousands of women and children. who have been denied a future already by United States foreign policy" the organisation added.

In June, the president signed an executive order promising to "keep families together" in migrant detentions, after undocumented parents and children were separated at the border.

Trump is using the same powers he employed to push through a version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court, albeit on its third attempt after earlier versions were rejected by the courts.

The administration has also looked to end protections under programs in which tens of thousands of people from Honduras and El Salvador, who entered the country after hurricanes and earthquakes devastated their countries near the beginning of the century.

Since 2000, the cap has generally been set in the 70,000 to 80,000 range.

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