Trump’s new move to limit asy­lum chal­lenged in court

The Philippine Star - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has is­sued a procla­ma­tion to deny asy­lum to mi­grants who en­ter the coun­try il­le­gally, tight­en­ing the bor­der as car­a­vans of Cen­tral Amer­i­cans slowly ap­proach the United States. The plan was im­me­di­ately chal­lenged in court.

Trump in­voked 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.

About 70,000 peo­ple per year who en­ter the coun­try il­le­gally claim asy­lum, of­fi­cials said.

“We need peo­ple in our coun­try, but they have to come in legally,” Trump said on Fri­day as he de­parted for Paris.

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,” ACLU at­tor­ney Lee Gel­ernt said.

The lit­i­ga­tion also seeks to put the new rules on hold while the case pro­gresses.

The reg­u­la­tions went into ef­fect yes­ter­day. They would be in place for at least three months but could be ex­tended, and do not af­fect peo­ple al­ready in the coun­try.

In a state­ment, the Jus­tice De­part­ment said the reg­u­la­tions were law­ful.

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. Those ef­forts, how­ever, have been largely thwarted by le­gal chal­lenges and, in the case of fam­ily sep­a­ra­tions this year, stymied by a global out­cry that prompted Trump to re­treat.

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 2,000-mile bor­der.

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