Trump administration takes step to tighten asylum system

Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally

Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally

"It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, in a statement.

Two senior administration officials that spoke to NBC News said that "of the [immigration] measures most likely to be approved by the president, all were likely to lead to a lawsuit".

The Trump administration took a major step on Thursday to restrict asylum claims, putting forward a regulation that would make individuals ineligible for asylum if they cross the United States southern border between official ports of entry.

During the election, Trump put immigration at the top of voters' minds, seeking to sow fear over a caravan of Central American migrants and asylum seekers.

A senior administration official said the White House hopes that by funneling asylum claimants to ports of entry, officials will be able to assess and adjudicate the claims more rapidly.

That way, he said, courts will "handle those claims in an expeditious and efficient manner, so that those who do actually require an asylum protection get those protections".

Trump said he was sending 15,000 active duty military to the border to deal with the problem, in what former President Barack Obama called a political 'stunt.' The troops began laying barbed wire as the migrants traveled toward the US on foot.

The President also suggested he would revoke the right to citizenship for babies born to non-US citizens on American soil and erect massive "tent cities" to detain migrants. Those issues were not addressed by the regulations Thursday.

The 9th Circuit concluded that the Department of Homeland Security was wrong to assert that DACA is illegal, writing that the program is "a permissible exercise of executive discretion", and therefore those who have sought to challenge the administration's move to rescind it "are likely to succeed".

They are meant to speed up rulings on asylum claims, instead of having migrants try to circumvent official crossings on the almost 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border. Backlogs have become especially bad in recent months at crossings in California, Arizona and Texas, with some people waiting five weeks to try to claim asylum at San Diego's main crossing. "Over the past decade, the overall percentage of aliens subject to expedited removal and referred, as part of the initial screening process, for a credible-fear interview jumped from approximately 5% to above 40%, and the total number of credible-fear referrals for interviews increased from about 5,000 a year in Fiscal Year ('FY") 2008 to about 97,000 in FY 2018'. About 4,800 migrants are sheltered in a sports complex in Mexico City, some 600 miles (965 kilometres) from the USA border.

Similar caravans have gathered regularly over the years and have generally dwindled by the time they reach the southern border.