WASHINGTON – The Trump administration, invoking national security powers designed to protect the United States from threats from abroad, announced new rules on Thursday that give President Trump great authority to deny asylum to virtually any migrant who crosses the border. illegally
Administration officials refused to say who would be affected by the new rules, but it is widely expected within the government and by advocacy groups that Mr. Trump intends to deny asylum to migrants from Central American nations, some of them which are marching to the United States in a widely publicized caravan.
The president, who made immigration and caravan issues important during mid-term election campaigns, is expected to announce on Friday to which countries the rules will apply. They will come into force in case of emergency as soon as they are published in the Federal Register.
The regulations will review long-standing asylum laws that provide an opportunity for people fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries to seek refuge in the United States.
The changes effectively close the asylum option for those who do not enter the country at an official port of entry, where immigrants and other travelers have legal permission to cross from Mexico to the United States, after being processed by the Border Patrol . Recently, in some crossings, an avalanche of arrivals has created long lines and delays of several days.
"The law is clear: people can apply for asylum, whether or not they are in a port of entry, and regardless of their immigration status," said Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrant Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "The president can not ignore that law, even if he does not like it."
The new regulations are based on the same authority that Mr. Trump used to Prohibit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries only days after its inauguration and you will surely be challenged in court.
The lawyers of the organizations of defense of the immigration said that they violated a founding principle of the federal asylum: to judge the request of asylum of each person on their own merits. And lawyers said federal and international laws made it clear that the United States should provide immigrants with the opportunity to apply for asylum, regardless of whether they entered the country legally or illegally.
Trump administration officials defended the new approach and said the president is responding to statistics that show that most migrants seeking asylum are finally rejected, but not before many of them skip their court hearings and decide to stay illegally in the United States.
Once the president makes a proclamation that identifies who is excluded by the new regulations, one official said, those people could request two other smaller programs that are much less likely to allow them to remain in the U.S.
An administration official who informed the reporters said the two programs would comply with the obligations of the United States treaty, a claim that critics say is not true. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details of the rules before they were published, said the new regulations were backed by laws that gave the president broad authority to control who entered the United States.
The Immigration and Nationality Act says that the president "can by proclamation, and for the period he deems necessary, suspend the entry of all foreigners or any kind of foreigners as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose any restriction upon the entry of foreigners. that may consider it appropriate. "
In writing the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the president's travel ban this summer, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the immigration law "exudes deference to the president in every clause."
Mr. Trump has annoyed his advisors for months over the increase of immigrants crossing the United States from Mexico. Enraged by the caravan of several thousand migrants who began to form in Honduras and have been slowly making their way to the US-Mexico border. ordered more than 5,000 troops in active service to the Border to prevent migrants from crossing.
Earlier this week, that caravan still had around 4,000 or 5,000 people and had arrived in Mexico City. According to reports, the smaller caravans of several hundred people are also heading to the United States.
Since taking office nearly two years ago, Mr. Trump has criticized what he calls weak laws that allow migrants who are caught crossing illegally to seek asylum with false pretenses and then be released into the United States, sometimes during years, while waiting for the courts to determine the validity of your asylum application.
In the fiscal year that ended in September, According to the authorities, 396,579 people were arrested after illegally crossing the southern border.
"Catch and release." It's a shame we have to put up with it, "Trump said in a speech at the White House as he increased his anti-immigrant message days before the election." These policies lead to the liberation of illegal aliens in our communities after who have been arrested. "
The purpose of the new rules is to help end the "capture and release" by declaring that large groups of migrants are not eligible for asylum. Those who illegally cross into the United States and try to claim asylum would be detained and quickly returned to their countries of origin.
Thursday's asylum changes are part of a concerted government-wide effort by Trump and his hardliners, including Stephen Miller, the White House's top domestic policy adviser, to drastically reduce immigration by enacting of extensive changes in the laws of the nation.
In addition to the travel ban, Mr. Trump has severely reduced the number of refugees who can enter the United States from anywhere in the world. And he has proposed rules that would punish legal immigrants by denying them the green card if they use public benefits such as food stamps and housing vouchers.
His administration has also tried to close the long-term Temporary Protection State program, which aims to provide temporary assistance to people from countries such as Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras who have been devastated by natural disasters or political conflicts.
And Mr. Trump has ordered the end of Obama's era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which is intended to protect approximately 1.8 million young immigrants from deportation and grants them Permits to work legally in the United States.
The courts have temporarily blocked the government from ending up with DACA, saying the administration has not provided a legitimate reason to want to do so. Thursday, An appeals court upheld the decision of a lower court to keep the program running. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case again this term.
Mr. Trump's attempts to close the State Temporary Protection program have also been blocked by the courts. But after more than a year of legal disputes, the Supreme Court upheld the third version of the president's travel ban in June, allowing it to go into effect.
Taken together, the Trump government's immigration efforts have attempted to drastically reduce the flow of immigration, legal and illegal, to the United States.
The asylum assault is part of the administration's response to a sharp increase in the number of Central American families trying to cross the southern border. In September, the Border Patrol detained 16,658 people in family units, a record number.
Last April, the Justice Department began carrying out a policy of "zero tolerance" on the border, prosecuting all trapped adults by crossing it illegally. That led to a policy of separating children from their parents and the political scandal that forced Mr. Trump to back down.
But officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have been working overtime ever since to develop a series of new policies to stop the flooding of families in Central America.
The formation of the migrant caravan that is now near Mexico City fueled Trump's anger and led him to make his arrest a central issue in the closing of the campaign.
Feeling that he would be a powerful political motivator for some Republican voters, he repeatedly promised to take steps to change the asylum laws.
"The biggest legal loophole that attracts illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or non-merit asylum applications to enter our great country," Trump said during a speech on November 1. "They're given a little legal statement for what they read, and they read it, and now, all of a sudden, they're supposed to qualify."
Asked that day about whether he planned to announce an executive order for asylum, Mr. Trump added: "It will be quite exhaustive."