New Trump administration asylum rule should dramatically curb migration from Central America — if it holds

By Jon Dougherty

(NationalSentinel) President Donald Trump is not giving up on his 2016 campaign pledge to enforce all immigration laws and shore up border security, despite relentless efforts by Left-wing pro-open borders groups, judicial activist judges and Democrats to thwart him.

After failing to convince congressional Democrats to live up to promises they made in the past to increase border security, the president turned to Mexico. With the threat of tariffs, he ‘convinced’ the Mexican government to begin enforcing its own immigration laws, which Mexico City began by deploying thousands of troops along its southern border and stepping up internal enforcement.

The results have been impressive; arrests of migrants dropped 29 percent in the month of June. The Border Patrol’s approximately 95,000 June arrests represents a dip from 133,000 the previous month, according to Customs and Border Protection.

Now, the president is moving into the policy realm with a new rule aimed at curbing bogus asylum claims. On Monday, the administration began the process of confirming a rule that seeks to block Central American migrants from coming all the way to the U.S. to present request asylum after traveling through Mexico and other countries first.

The rule states:

The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security (“DOJ,” “DHS,” or collectively, “the Departments”) are adopting an interim final rule (“interim rule” or “rule”) governing asylum claims in the context of aliens who enter or attempt to enter the United States across the southern land border after failing to apply for protection from persecution or torture while in a third country through which they transited en route to the United States.

Pursuant to statutory authority, the Departments are amending their respective regulations to provide that, with limited exceptions, an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum.

“While the recent supplemental funding was absolutely vital to helping confront the crisis, the truth is that it will not be enough without targeted changes to the legal framework of our immigration system. 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,” Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said about the change.

“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,” he continued.

“This Rule is a 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,” Attorney General Bill Barr said.

“This Rule will decrease 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,” he continued.

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The rule is scheduled to take effect Tuesday.

At the same time, the administration is working to have federal court decisions overturned forbidding use of unassigned Pentagon funds for wall construction.

The Trump administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to lift a freeze on Pentagon money it wants to use to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.

The Military Times reports:

Two lower courts have ruled against the administration in a lawsuit over the funding. Last week, a divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco kept in place a lower court ruling preventing the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona, California and New Mexico.

At stake in the case is billions of dollars that would allow Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term. Trump ended a 35-day government shutdown in February after Congress gave him approximately $1.4 billion in border wall funding, far less than the $5.7 billion he was seeking. Trump then declared a national emergency to take cash from other government accounts to use to construct sections of wall.

Without question the rule is going to be challenged in court by Leftist immigration groups, the ACLU, and Democrat attorneys general, so even if the president signs off on it, the rule won’t go into effect anytime soon.

But the fact that the president is continuing to pursue border security and immigration reform policies at all, in the face of such opposition, is testament to his dedication to fulfill a campaign promise, true, but also to make the country more secure and make our asylum and immigration laws and policies more rational and responsive.

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