The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president’s battle to tamp down the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to a new rule published in the Federal Register, asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The rule, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.
ABC News reports:
Trump administration officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening that most people pass and the final decision on asylum that most people do not win.
But immigrant rights groups, religious leaders and humanitarian groups have said the Republican administration’s policies amount to a cruel and calloused effort to keep immigrants out of the country. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are poor countries suffering from violence .
Along with the administration’s recent effort to send asylum seekers back over the border, Trump has tried to deny asylum to anyone crossing the border illegally and restrict who can claim asylum, and Attorney General William Barr recently tried to keep thousands of asylum seekers detained while their cases play out.