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Central American migrants from the caravan. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said Thursday that the administration is finalizing a plan that would prevent immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally from receiving asylum.

Why it matters: The briefing comes as Trump continues to make immigration a focal point ahead of the midterm elections and as a caravan of thousands of Central Americans — many of whom are likely to seek asylum — makes its way through Mexico toward the U.S.

Between the lines: While the Immigration and Nationality Act provides any immigrant on U.S. soil the right to seek asylum, regardless of whether they entered the U.S. legally or illegally, it also grants the attorney general the right to decide what crimes disqualify an asylum-seeker. The administration's plan has been previously reported on by CNN and Vox.

More from his speech:

  • Trump reiterated his assertion that his administration will build tent cities to hold asylum-seekers, and that they will no longer be released into the U.S. to await their immigration hearings.
  • Trump said the caravan "should turn back now. They're wasting their time." He went on to say that they should apply legally to come into the U.S. — despite the fact that legally applying for asylum first requires that the asylum-seeker be on U.S. soil.
  • "They want to throw rocks at our military, we're going to fight back... I said, 'Consider it a rifle'."

The big picture: The administration has already made it so that victims of domestic abuse or gang violence no longer automatically qualify for asylum. It has also eliminated the right to hearings for certain asylum-seekers. Thousands of U.S. troops are currently on their way to the U.S. border to help immigration officials stop the caravan.

Go deeper: Reality check: How the U.S. asylum process works

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.