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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

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.