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 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Scoop: Don Jr. plans convention-week Biden book

Cover via Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., in quarantine since girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for the coronavirus, says he's used the time to finish a book that he'll self-publish the week of the Republican convention, at the end of August.

What he's saying: Don Jr., whose controversial blasts connect with President Trump's base, told me in a phone interview that "Liberal Privilege" will be his effort to paint a picture of Joe Biden and his record that the press ignores.

Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.