MEXICO CITY (dpa-AFX) - In a major executive action aimed at preventing the US-bound caravan from seeking asylum in the country, the Trump administration ordered that migrants who cross the southern border from Mexico illegally will no longer be eligible for asylum under a new rule.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Thursday announced an Interim Final Rule declaring that 'aliens' who contravene a presidential order suspending or limiting the entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico will be rendered ineligible for asylum.
The White House is expected to issue a presidential proclamation based on the Immigration and Nationality Act Friday. Once the plan takes effect, migrants entering the US through southern border would only be eligible for asylum if they report at official ports of entry, officials said.
Matthew Whitaker and Kirstjen Nielsen said in a joint statement that consistent with US immigration laws, the President has the authority to suspend or restrict the entry of foreigners into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so.
'Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many merit-less 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 statement added.
Under instruction from President Donald Trump, more than 5000 troop were sent last week to the Southwest border with Mexico to stop two caravans of U.S.-bound Latin American migrants, who started their grueling journey on foot mostly from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
The military was called hours after Trump warned that 'This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!'
Trump made the extraordinarily heavy deployment even as the migrants were still hundreds of miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border.
The migrant caravan stopped to regroup in Mexico City en route to the border.
According to White House, the US authorities encountered 600,000 inadmissible aliens in fiscal year 2018, out of which 400,000 attempted to enter illegally. Almost all of them entered through the southwest border.
Some 240,000 illegal aliens were sent back through expedited removal in the last year.
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