US ASYLUM POLICY TIGHTENED AS CARAVANS CONTINUE
President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally as migrants caravans neared the United States.
“We need people in our country, but they have to come in legally,” Trump said on Friday, invoking the same powers he used last year to impose a travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court.
The new regulations are intended to circumvent laws stating that anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how he or she enters the country.
Swift legal response
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other legal groups swiftly sued in federal court in Northern California to block the regulations, arguing the measures were illegal.
“The president is simply trying to run roughshod over Congress’ decision to provide asylum to those in danger regardless of the manner of one’s entry,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.
The litigation also seeks to put the new rules on hold while the case progresses.
The regulations go into ef- fect Saturday and will be in place for at least three months but could be extended, and don’t affect people already in the country.
About 70,000 people per year who enter the country illegally claim asylum, officials said.
Trump’s announcement was the latest push to enforce a hard-line stance on immigration through regulatory changes and presidential orders, bypassing Congress, which has not passed any immigration law reform.
Officials said the asylum law changes are meant to funnel migrants through official border crossings for speedy rulings instead of having them try to circumvent such crossings on the nearly 3,200-kilometer border.
The US Border Patrol said it apprehended more than 50,000 people crossing illegally in October, setting a new high this year but still lower than in previous years.
ONTHEMOVE Central American migrants march to the United Nations’ humans rights office in Mexico City on Nov. 8.