Trump Signs Order Denying Asylum to Illegal Border Crossers 9 November 2018

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

Feds announce new policy to limit asylum claims

Immigration advocacy groups insist US laws clearly extend asylum protections to anyone who reaches the United States, no matter how they enter the country. "The US government should absolutely be encouraging the safe, orderly and efficient processing of asylum claims at ports of entry, but the way to do that is by providing sufficient resources to receive and process asylum seekers in a fair and humane manner".

"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".

The rule says that "those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico ... will be rendered ineligible for asylum".

Under the rule, migrants seeking asylum will have to make their claims at official ports of entry on the border.

"This interim regulation is not only inconsistent with the letter of the law, but flatly contradicts it", Frelick said.

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Sessions, who resigned at 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 announcement was the latest push to enforce Trump's hardline stance on immigration through regulatory changes and presidential orders, bypassing Congress. However, Trump's focus on the issue during campaigning for Tuesday's hotly contested midterm congressional elections was criticized as veering into immigrant-bashing and even racism. "Over the past decade, the overall percentage of aliens subject to expedited removal and referred, as part of the initial screening process, for a credible-fear interview jumped from approximately 5% to above 40%, and the total number of credible-fear referrals for interviews increased from about 5,000 a year in Fiscal Year ('FY") 2008 to about 97,000 in FY 2018'. Since 2014, asylum claims at the border have increased fourfold, adding to a backlog of more than 750,000 pending cases in USA immigration courts.

The "before" and "after" effect of this new rule is going to be stark. Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said Thursday they were clearly illegal. Claims have spiked in recent years, and there is a backlog of more than 800,000 cases pending in immigration court, with a wait time that can be almost two years. Those moves have been challenged in court. About 4,800 migrants are sheltered in a sports complex in Mexico City, some 600 miles (965 kilometers) from the US border.

It's unclear how many people en route to the USA will even make it to the border. The migrants are largely poor people, and many say they're fleeing violence. Most have passed largely unnoticed.

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