Trump signs proclamation limiting migrant asylum

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2018) — President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation to deny asylum to migrants who enter the United States illegally through the U.S.-Mexico border. The plan was immediately challenged in court.

Trump invoked the same national security powers he used to push his travel ban through. He says he wants people to come to the U.S. legally.

The move on Friday was spurred in part by caravans of Central American migrants moving north on foot, but officials say it will apply to anyone caught crossing illegally.

Officials say the measure is meant to funnel asylum seekers through official border crossings for speedy rulings instead of having them try to circumvent such crossings on the nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) stretch.

The busy ports of entry already have long lines and waits, forcing immigration officials to tell some migrants to return to make their claims.

Trump’s proclamation puts into practice regulations adopted by immigration officials on Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups swiftly sued in federal court in Northern California to block the regulations, arguing the measures were clearly illegal.

“The president is simply trying to run roughshod over Congress’s decision to provide asylum to those in danger regardless of the manner of one’s entry,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.

The litigation also seeks to put the rules on hold while the litigation progresses.

It wasn’t clear whether the case would go before a judge before the rules go into effect Saturday. They would be in place for at least three months but could be extended, and don’t affect people already in the country.

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