US ASY­LUM POL­ICY TIGHTENED AS CAR­A­VANS CON­TINUE

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - WORLD -

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.

Hard­line stance

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.

50,000 ar­rested

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.

—AP

ONTHEMOVE Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants march to the United Na­tions’ hu­mans rights of­fice in Mex­ico City on Nov. 8.

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