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Trump Administration Moves to Curb Migrants' Asylum Claims

Trump Administration Moves to Curb Migrants' Asylum Claims

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a "interim final rule" stipulating that any and all immigrants who illegally cross into the US' southern border with Mexico will be deemed ineligible to apply for asylum.

The United States regularly sends Mexican undocumented entrants back across the border to their country, but has had difficulties gaining cooperation to repatriate Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans.

Thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asylum rules were reformed to prevent migrants from receiving asylum by claiming they are fleeing violence, gangs, or domestic abuse.

The president can stop migration in the "national interest", a statement said.

The announcement was the latest push to enforce Trump's hardline stance on immigration through regulatory changes and presidential orders, bypassing Congress.

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President Donald Trump has blamed USA asylum rules for luring thousands of migrants a year from Central American countries. "Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility".

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 USA on foot. At Trump's request, the Department of Defense has already deployed 5,600 military personnel to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a group that defends individual rights, declared the move "illegal".

Currently, migrants who enter the United States illegally between ports of entry are able to apply for asylum.

According to DHS, the department has seen a 2,000 percent increase since 2013 in migrants claiming that they have "credible fear" of persecution should they return to their home country.

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Human rights group Amnesty International also came out against the rule.

In Fiscal Year 2018, almost 90 percent of Central American migrants who arrived at the border and claimed "credible fear" passed their initial asylum-seeking interview.

In June, the president signed an executive order promising to "keep families together" in migrant detentions, after undocumented parents and children were separated at the border.

The administration's plan, which invokes the same authority Trump used to justify his travel ban on citizens of several Muslim-majority nations, is likely to be quickly challenged in court.

With so many asylum seekers arriving at border crossings, US customs officers have been limiting the number of people allowed to approach the pedestrian entry lanes, a tactic known as "metering" that has triggered challenges in federal court.

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