Trump's Proclamation to Restrict the Rights of People Seeking Asylum

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The Trump administration unveiled new rules on Thursday to sharply limit migrant asylum claims by barring individuals who cross the USA southern border illegally from seeking asylum.

Donald Trump's administration announced it will deny asylum to migrants caught crossing the Mexican border illegally.

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

In speeches and on Twitter, Trump hammered away almost daily at "caravans" of a few thousand impoverished Central Americans that periodically attempt to walk up through Mexico and then gain entry to the United States. They are now about 600 miles (965 kilometers) away.

Mr Sessions, who resigned at Mr Trump's request this week, also instructed immigration judges and asylum officers to view illegal border-crossing as a "serious adverse factor" in deciding a case and to consider whether applicants could have escaped danger by relocating within their own countries. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", the ACLU said.

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

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.

"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", Whitaker said.

This is expected to put a dent in those streaming into an already overburdened system, officials said, noting that there is a backlog of more than 700,000 cases in the immigration courts.

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

Members of the migrant caravan arrive at the shelter of the Church of the Assumption, in the city of Puebla. He will invoke the same powers he used to push through a version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court, according to senior administration officials.

"President Trump's Proclamation is yet another attempt to destroy the United States´ long tradition to guarantee the fundamental human right to seek protection from life-threatening fear and persecution".

Immigrant advocates denounced the administration's move as unlawful, and said the plan to funnel migrants to ports of entry was just a way to cut asylum claims overall.

Last week, he said he would be taking steps to limit asylum claims. It's unknown whether those in the caravan, many fleeing violence in their homeland, plan to cross illegally.

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