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Trump administration moves to block asylum for certain migrants

09 November 2018

In a decision Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was put into place by former President Barack Obama and allows some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the children to be shielded from deportation for two years and receive work permits, can continue, BuzzFeed News reports.

The restriction is created to deter migrants from entering the country, including a caravan of South American refugees making their way toward the US-Mexico border.

A senior administration official said the restriction on asylum claims will seek to address the "historically unparalleled abuse of our immigration system". "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Rights Project, said.

The order would force migrants seeking to apply for asylum to do so only at ports of entry, and not after stepping onto USA soil illegally.

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

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

In 2018, border patrols have registered more than 400,000 illegal border crossers, homeland security said. Generally, only about 20 per cent of applicants are approved.

Officials would not offer any other specifics on the proclamation that Trump is expected to sign Friday.

The rule, as outlined by administration officials on a briefing call, is meant to crack down on people who jump the border illegally and then subsequently make asylum claims.

"Beyond Trump's dehumanizing rhetoric are mothers, fathers, and children fleeing extremely unsafe situations enduring a perilous journey because they've had no choice but to leave their home". But many migrants are unaware of that guidance, and official border crossings have grown clogged.

The Trump administration has already made it more hard for migrants to qualify for asylum in the United States.

It's unclear how many people en route to the US will even make it to the border. Humanitarian aid converged around the stadium in Mexico City where thousands of Central American migrants winding their way toward the United States were resting Tuesday after an arduous trek that has taken them through three countries in three weeks. There's 5,000 people that were doing that in 20 - in 2008. Most have passed largely unnoticed.

Trump administration moves to block asylum for certain migrants