Nov 8, 2018

New rule will allow Trump to block certain asylum-seekers

Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration has posted a new regulation that will allow President Trump, via proclamation, to prohibit certain immigrants from seeking asylum, senior administration officials told reporters Thursday afternoon.

Why it matters: This will allow Trump to block any immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally from receiving asylum, and comes as a caravan of Central Americans makes its way toward the U.S. border. It has been previously reported that the administration was considering a proposal that would prevent immigrants who cross the border illegally from obtaining asylum.

What they're saying: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement, "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. Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”

What's next: This will more than likely be challenged in court, as U.S. laws permit immigrants to apply for asylum within a year of being on U.S. soil regardless of whether they entered legally or illegally.

  • Details: Immigrants who are denied asylum via this new rule would still be eligible for protection in the U.S. if they can prove that they are "more likely than not to be persecuted or tortured in the country of removal" — a higher standard than required to be considered for asylum.
  • Otherwise, they would be placed in expedited removal proceedings and would not go before an immigration judge before deportation.
  • This rule will only apply to anyone who crosses the border after the rule if effective. It is not retroactive.

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