Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
The Trump administration is publishing a new rule on Tuesday that will force migrants fleeing their home countries to apply for asylum in one of the first countries they pass through, or face ineligibility for asylum once they reach the southern border of the U.S., according to a press release.
Why it matters: While there are certain exceptions, this will make it significantly more difficult for any Central Americans to receive protection in the U.S.
"Today's action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits."— DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan in a statement
Between the lines: The rule has long been in the works, and will certainly face legal challenges. But a former DOJ immigration attorney told Axios that it's a "50-50" question as to whether the administration has authority to impose this kind of rule.