President Donald Trump will use a fast-track regulation and a presidential announcement to deny full asylum to illegal border-crossers, so shrinking the catch-and-release rules which allow economic migrants to pay their smuggling costs.
“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,” said a statement by Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker. They continued:
Today’s rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum. Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless 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.
Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”
The policy covers the migrants in the three caravans that are moving northwards, and all other migrants who cross the border illegally.
The plan has two steps.
First, the president uses his legal authority to bar the entry of some groups of travellers into the United States. The likely group is migrants seeking jobs in the United States. This legal authority provides border officials with the legal authority for the second step.
Second, border officials detain illegal migrants who cross the border between the official “ports of entry.” This caught migrants would be denied the right to file for full asylum even they claimed a “credible fear” of being sent home, so allowing officials to deny them the “catch and release” which they need to get U.S. jobs and pay their debts to the cartel-backed smugglers. Economic migrants who use the ports of entry would be allowed to file for full asylum with the possibility of catch-and-release if they pass their credible-fear tests.
Senior administration officials said the plan does not deal with economic migrants who bring children to trigger the Flores catch-and-release loophole.
The new 78-page regulation describes the policy:
SUMMARY: The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security (“DOJ,” “DHS,” or, collectively, “the Departments”) are adopting an interim final rule governing asylum claims in the context of aliens who are subject to, but contravene, a suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico that is imposed by a presidential proclamation or other presidential order (“a proclamation”) under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”).
Pursuant to statutory authority, the Departments are amending their respective existing regulations to provide that aliens subject to such a proclamation concerning the southern border, but who contravene such a proclamation by entering the United States …
The interim rule, if applied to a proclamation suspending the entry of aliens who cross the southern border unlawfully, would bar such aliens from eligibility for asylum and thereby channel inadmissible aliens to ports of entry, where they would be processed in a controlled, orderly, and lawful manner.
This rule would apply only prospectively to a proclamation issued after the effective date of this rule. It would not apply to a proclamation that specifically includes an exception for aliens applying for asylum, nor would it apply to aliens subject to a waiver or exception provided by the proclamation.
… The regulations would ensure that aliens in this category who establish a reasonable fear of persecution or torture could seek withholding of removal under the INA or protection from removal under regulations implementing U.S. obligations under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”).
The “interim final rule” regulation is available here.