U.S. proposes banning asylum through southern border

Trump just announced a big change to immigration policy – and it will affect caravan migrants

The restriction on asylum claims will seek to address what a senior administration official called the "historically unparalleled abuse of our immigration system" along the border with Mexico.

The regulations released, in conjunction with an order expected to be signed by President Donald Trump, would effectively ban migrants who cross the U.S. border with Mexico illegally from qualifying for asylum.

The issue of the country's loose asylum laws - where foreign nationals can claim that they fear for their lives in their native country and be released into the US until their day in court - has sparked debate as a caravan of 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans heads to the U.S.

Trump also suggested he'd revoke the right to citizenship for babies born to non-U.S. citizens on American soil and erect massive "tent cities" to detain migrants. "Since 2017, Amnesty has documented that thousands of people already wait for weeks on end at the ports of entry, and others have been wrongfully turned away by USA border officials as they attempt to seek protection". Immigrants would have to apply for asylum status at designated points of entry, and those already in the country illegally would not be able to apply.

The new rules are subject to a presidential proclamation expected Friday in which Trump will invoke the same justification he did for the travel ban. "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.

This summer, multiple news outlets reported that hundreds of migrants who had legally presented themselves to USA agents at official ports of entry, like San Ysidro, California and El Paso, Texas, were told that their asylum requests could not be processed.

Did Sarah Sanders post a doctored InfoWars video to justify CNN ban?
This clip documents an incident which took place at a July 2015 event at the White House in honor of LGBT Pride Month. If the Press Secretary is grabbing her propaganda from InfoWars, the chances of her admitting it seem close to zero.

Immigration was a major focus in President Trump's 2018 mid-term election campaign.

Members of one of the migrant caravans riding on a truck in Donaji, Mexico, last week.

The caravan has remained undeterred, and participants have told Al Jazeera they plan on applying for asylum at an official port of entry.

Officials say the new policy is grounded in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

"Congress has directly spoken to this question as to whether individuals can be rendered ineligible for asylum if they cross between ports of entry and has specifically said people are eligible regardless of where they cross", said Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. It's unknown whether those in the caravan, many fleeing violence in their homeland, plan to cross illegally.

The administration has long said immigration officials are drowning in asylum cases partly because people falsely claim asylum and then live in the US with work permits.

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