The Trump administration has proposed a new rule to reduce the flow of migrants streaming across America’s border with Mexico.
Under the draft rule proposed in the Federal Register, most migrants coming north through Mexico first have to seek asylum in one of the countries through which they pass.
Only after that request is denied could they seek asylum in the United States. Any migrants who arrive in the U.S. without having claimed asylum somewhere else would be ineligible for asylum in the U.S. under the draft rule.
The rule is scheduled to take effect Tuesday.
“Ultimately, today’s action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.
McAleenan said the rule was designed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice as a stopgap until Congress passes immigration reform.
“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey,” he said.
Attorney General William Barr said in a statement that the new rule will limit “forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States — while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground.”
Barr said the rule was “lawful exercise of authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum.”
“The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border,” he said in his statement.
The rule is likely to spark lawsuits from groups opposed to the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
Currently, there are two major parts to seeking asylum. Most migrants, particularly those who enter illegally as families, are able to pass the first screening, which allows them to remain in the country pending a court hearing, at which many migrants do not appear and which many migrants lose if they do show up.
During an appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo on the Fox Business Network, Graham said that during a visit to a Texas detention center he was told that “30 percent of the people with small children are fake families.”
Graham noted that agencies conducted a pilot program of DNA testing to determine which families were real and which were not.
“They told us about 60 children that were recycled. They picked the child up in Central America. They bring them to the United States. Everybody’s released, and the child goes back to Central America to do it again. It’s $8,000 for adults, $4,000 for families,” he said.
The consequences are enormous, Graham said.
“If you bring a small child to America with you, we can only hold that child for 20 days,” he said. “Since we don’t want to separate families, we release them all. We released 52,000 people into the interior of the United States at that station this year alone because we don’t have places to hold them and we can’t keep the family together.
“The word is out in Central America, you bring a small child to the United States, you’re home free. I want to change that narrative. My bill will stop 90 percent of this. We’re going to vote before the August recess.”
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