Thursday, 15 Nov 2018
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The Trump administration will tighten the rules of asylum with the approach of caravans


Nick Miroff Journalist for Immigration, Drug Trafficking and National Security Law Enforcement November 8 at 1:47 pm As US troops unroll accordion wire along the shoreline Rio Grande, the Trump government is preparing to announce further action Thursday to end the US immigration system. by denying migrants the opportunity to seek asylum in the United States if they enter illegally. The restrictions would support the emergency powers the President invoked to implement his "travel ban" in early 2017, according to US officials aware of the existence of these plans. Legal challenges to delay or block asylum restrictions should follow. The measures have been prepared over the last few weeks to meet President Trump's request to thwart caravan groups traveling through Mexico through an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans. In private, Homeland Security officials recognize that the new restrictions, at least alone, are unlikely to produce the immediate deterrent effect the White House wants. Detention capacity in US immigration jails is already nearly exhausted and court-imposed limits on the government's ability to keep children in immigration jails for more than 20 days mean most migrant families who are seeking protection are still likely to be released pending a hearing. Under US immigration law, foreigners who arrive in the United States and fear return may seek asylum as a shield against deportation. A US asylum officer then conducts an interview to determine if the person has a "credible fear" of the persecution. In this case, the applicant is generally assigned a hearing date and is released. [Why migrant families are seeking asylum at the border in record numbers] An increasing number of migrants have entered the United States through this administrative route in recent years, often crossing the border illegally to US border officials. Since 2014, the number of refugee claims at the border has quadrupled, adding to the backlog of more than 750,000 cases pending in US immigration courts. The new measures in preparation would continue to allow foreigners to apply for asylum if they enter the country legally at US entry points, but not those who cross without authorization, according to officials familiar with the situation. plans. With so many asylum seekers arriving at the borders, US customs officials have limited the number of people allowed to approach pedestrian access roads, a tactic known as "counting" that has provoked protests in the past. federal courts. US Customs and Border Protection officials defend this practice on the grounds that border crossings are not equipped to handle hundreds of asylum seekers every day. They must also continue to facilitate ordinary cross-border travel and trade while protecting the country from terrorists and drug traffickers. It is not known how many migrants traveling in caravans will go to ports of entry and will attempt to enter legally. In recent weeks, the waiting time at some crossings has lasted several days or more, and in Tijuana, the list of asylum seekers has increased by more than 1,000 people. These delays increase the chances that members of the caravan may attempt to cross illegally by crossing the Rio Grande by ford or crossing the desert to set foot on US soil and surrender to Border Patrol officers. Under the proposed amendments to the rules, migrants who cross illegally would be ineligible for asylum, but they could still be spared from deportation by qualifying for a lesser-known status, called "refusal to leave". . This status does not allow foreigners to access the green card. or citizenship, and functions rather as a kind of temporary suspension of the expulsion process, revocable at any time. Nevertheless, this would still give those who illegally go through a way to enter the backlog of immigration courts and released, especially those traveling with children. "Congress has specifically stated that you can apply for asylum if you arrive in the United States, whether or not you are at an entry point," said Omar Jadwat, Director of the Immigrants' Rights Project at American Civil Liberties. Union. "They were clearly and explicitly aimed at making the asylum accessible to anyone traveling to the United States. "We do this because of our obligations under international law and who we are as a country, and what we understand as our role in protecting people fleeing persecution," said Jadwat, who stated that ACLU lawyers anticipated the measures and considered legal options. "If the president does not like what the law says, the best solution is to get Congress to adopt a new one." [Trump administration weighs new family separation measures at border] A first version of the proposal examined by the Washington Post stated that the president could use his authority under section 212 (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to declare certain migrants ineligible for Asylum for reasons of national security. This section is the same legal authority that Trump claimed to prohibit foreigners from certain Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States under the "travel ban" in early 2017. This prohibition has prompted numerous legal challenges and forced the administration to publish three different versions before. a revised ban was upheld in June by the Supreme Court by 5 votes against 4. Maria Sacchetti contributed to this report. .

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