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Trump moves to restrict asylum access at the U.S.-Mexico border







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                  President Donald Trump had already hinted that an announcement would arrive this week. | Evan Vucci / AP Photo </p>
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<p>  Trump's administration on Thursday has launched a fast track down regulation that will limit the ability of some <b> </b>  migrants to seek asylum at the border between the US and Mexico – a move that is almost certain to trigger legal challenges and humanitarian reactions. </p>
<p>  The administration issued a provisional final rule that will prevent certain captured migrants crossing the border between ports of entry The regulation will be coupled with a presidential proclamation outlining migrants subject to the asylum bar, administration officials said in an appeal with journalists. Officials would not specify who could be subject to the ban, but said that more information would be revealed on Friday. </p><div><script async src=

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The regulation seeks to "channel inadmissible aliens to ports of entry, where they could be processed in a controlled, orderly and legal manner," according to a notice published Thursday afternoon.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has settled on a group of Central American migrants crossing Mexico en route to the United States. During a speech last week, Trump called the caravan "an invasion" and said that asylum seekers would be rejected.

"This is not an innocent group of people," he said of the group, which includes many women and children. "It's a large number of people who are difficult."

Republican voters in Tuesday's mid-term elections referred to immigration as one of the most important issues for the country, according to the exit polls: Thursday's announcement suggests that Trump will not leave behind his crackdown on immigration, which dominated his first two years in office. [19659005] An administration official today said that asylum seekers crossing the ports of entry "choose to break our laws as a first act by entering the country" and "depriving legitimate asylum seekers of the possibility of making people listen" their cases. " [19659005] The official has defined the current flow of asylum seekers as a "massive … almost non-existent abuse of our immigration system".

The Federal Immigration Act allows immigrants in the United States to apply for asylum m regardless of whether they arrived legally or without a visa. While the Trump administration described illegal immigration as a crisis, the number of border arrests in the 2018 fiscal year remained below the levels in the last decade and far below of levels in the 1990s and in the United States.

The fast-track regulation issued on Thursday depends on the same federal statute of Trump's travel ban policy, the third version of which the Supreme Court upheld in June. The statute, section 212 (f) of the Immigration Law and nationality, states that the president may suspend the entry of aliens deemed "harmful to US interests".

The extent of the asylum restrictions will depend on which migrants are judged "harmful" in the next presidential proclamation.

The regulation will be applied prospectively, officials said on Thursday

. Migrants intercepted between ports of entry will still be able to petition other forms of relief, according to the text of the regulation.

Migrants could ask for "detention of repression", which offers shelter to people who face a threat to their lives or their freedom. Furthermore, they may request protection under the Anti-Torture Convention, which is available to persons with a removal order who are considered more likely than not to be tortured in their country of origin.

Again, immigration defenders have harshly criticized the move to restrict access to asylum – and a legal battle seems likely once policy advances.

"Asylum laws are clear on this," said Eleanor Acer, director of the refugee protection program of Human Rights First. "This is an illegal attempt to stop the laws passed by Congress."


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