16:54 GMT +323 July 2019
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    Immigrants walk along the rail tracks after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border in Ixtepec, southern Mexico

    Trump Administration Moves to Restrict Asylum at US-Mexico Border

    © East News / Eduardo Verdugo/AP/MXEV115
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    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.

    Individuals are currently allowed to apply for asylum whether they identify themselves at ports of entry or bypass them illegally to gain entry into the US.

    The new rule was announced via a joint statement by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, and will not become effective until US President Donald Trump issues a proclamation, which is expected sometime Friday. The rule is not retroactive.

    "Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so," the joint statement reads. "Today's rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum."

    "Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it," the agencies said.

    "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."

    According to CNN, which cited an unnamed Justice Department official, the new ruling was previously approved by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions before his Wednesday departure from the department.

    POTUS initially revealed his administration's intentions last week during a speech at the White House in which he indicated that he was "finalizing a plan" to deny asylum claims from those who illegally enter the US.

    Later, at a campaign rally in Missouri, Trump offered additional remarks on the topic, saying, "Under this plan, the illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into the country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum."

    Although it's unclear how long the ruling will stay in place, it is certain that it's the result of the Latin American migrant caravan that Trump has likened to an "invasion." The president has repeatedly painted migrants in a bad light in an attempt to drum up support for his policies.

    POTUS has also indicated that he intends to end birthright citizenship, which scholars and lawmakers alike have strongly indicated would be unconstitutional.


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    United States, Trump Administration, asylum seekers, Mexico
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