Trump to restrict asy­lum re­quests

Claims by those en­ter­ing il­le­gally would be spurned

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Alan Gomez Con­tribut­ing: John Fritze in Wash­ing­ton.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced a plan Thurs­day to cut back im­mi­grants’ abil­ity to re­quest asy­lum in the USA, a chal­lenge to fed­eral law and in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions that the pres­i­dent said is nec­es­sary to stop an im­mi­grant car­a­van slowly mak­ing its way to the U.S.-Mex­i­can bor­der.

Im­mi­grants are al­lowed to re­quest asy­lum whether they present them­selves at ports of en­try or il­le­gally en­ter the coun­try. The rules pro­posed by the ad­min­is­tra­tion would bar those who en­ter il­le­gally from mak­ing an asy­lum claim and place them into ex­pe­dited de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings in­stead, ac­cord­ing to a post­ing by the De­part­ments of Jus­tice and Home­land Se­cu­rity on the Fed­eral Regis­ter late Thurs­day.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump hinted at such a change in the weeks lead­ing up to Tues­day’s midterm elec­tions. Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence four days be­fore the elec­tions, he said there was “ram­pant abuse” of the asy­lum sys­tem, which saw an in­crease in claims from 5,000 in 2008 to 97,000 in 2018, mostly fu­eled by Cen­tral Amer­i­cans flee­ing vi­o­lence and poverty in their home coun­tries.

“Our asy­lum sys­tem is over­whelmed with too many mer­it­less asy­lum claims from aliens who place a tremen­dous bur­den on our re­sources, pre­vent­ing us from be­ing able to ex­pe­di­tiously grant asy­lum to those who truly de­serve it,” Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Kirst­jen Nielsen and Act­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral Matthew Whi­taker said in a state­ment. “To­day, we are us­ing the au­thor­ity granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who vi­o­late (the new rules).”

Lee Gel­ernt, an Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union at­tor­ney who led a law­suit that forced the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­unite more than 2,500 im­mi­grant chil­dren sep­a­rated from their par­ents this sum­mer, said the pro­posed asy­lum changes are du­bi­ous.

“The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plan to cat­e­gor­i­cally deny asy­lum to those who en­ter be­tween ports of en­try is patently un­law­ful and in­con­sis­tent with our na­tion’s com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing a safe haven to those in dan­ger,” Gel­ernt said Thurs­day. “There will be law­suits.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.