Hard line on asylum at the border
The Trump administration rolled out an executive order Thursday that drastically curtails the ability of migrants to apply for asylum at the southern border, a hard-line move that drew sharp rebuke from immigration advocacy groups and is expected to prompt legal challenges.
The new rule, which was announced by newly appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, bars migrants from making asylum claims if they cross the border illegally, a restriction that flies in the face of longstanding asylum statutes.
“Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so,” Whitaker and Nielsen said in a joint statement.
The asylum overhaul comes weeks before a slow-moving caravan of Central American migrants is expected to arrive at the border with Mexico.
President Trump spent the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections making fear-mongering and outright false claims about the desperate migrants.