The Department of Justice and Homeland Security published a rule on Thursday that will make it more difficult for immigrants to claim asylum if they are caught crossing the border between designated ports of entry.
Officials say the plan is to force more immigrants to overcrowded ports of entry. Many asylum-seekers have been forced to cross illegally because of massive backlogs at ports of entry.
In a joint statement, from Homeland Security and the Acting Attorney General said, “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.”
Trump is expected to sign a proclamation to finalize the rule and ACLU has said it will sue. “The proposal is patently unlawful and there will be a court challenge,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
Immigrants crossing between ports of entry will still be allowed to claim asylum, but will have to prove that they meet a higher bar than a “credible fear” of returning to their home country. Under international law asylum-seekers are permitted to make a claim regardless of where they enter a country.
The full text of the new regulation can be found here.