President Donald Trump is considering a new rule that, if implemented, would reject the majority of migrants who request asylum in the United States.
Under the draft proposal, asylum seekers would be denied if they resided in another country other than their own before reaching the U.S. The rule, first reported by Politico and confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation, would directly target thousands of Central American migrants who travel through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border.
The U.S.-Mexico border has been inundated with migrants — most of them family units and unaccompanied minors from Central America — who immediately seek out Border Patrol agents and request asylum.
Over 100,000 migrants encounters were made in March and again in April, with immigration officials predicting May to witness around 120,000 encounters. Border Patrol agents nabbed a group of 1,036 illegal migrants near El Paso, Texas early Wednesday morning, marking the largest single apprehension in history.
The Trump administration has long sought changes to U.S. asylum rules. Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requested Congress to allow migrants to lodge asylum requests in their home countries in March. Speaking before a congressional committee in May, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan reiterated that asylum requests made in home countries would alleviate the border crisis.
Trump on Thursday revealed that he would be making a “big league statement” about the border on Friday.
“This is a big league statement but we are going to do something very dramatic on the border,” he said while leaving the White House. “It will be a statement having to do with the border and having to do with people illegally coming over the border and it will be my biggest statement so far on the border.”
However, it’s not immediately clear if the asylum change is related to the president’s upcoming announcement. Trump is also reportedly preparing to threaten Mexico with tariffs if they do not better manage the thousands of migrants traveling across its borders.
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