NEW YORK, NY - Today, DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen and Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker announced an interim final rule change that will restrict migrants from claiming asylum at the United States Southern border. Plans for the rule change were first leaked ahead of the midterm elections, indicating that President Trump plans to unilaterally reject refuge, safety, and entry into the United States for asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border between ports of entry; future presidential proclamations could include additional barriers to entry.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, responded:
“This is Trump’s desperate, last-minute effort to keep dividing us as Americans – we're not going to fall for it. Upending our asylum process and rejecting people – who have traveled thousands of miles to escape violence and death – from even seeking asylum at the border is not only immoral, it's illegal. Trump only destroys America's greatness by closing the door on those in need of safety and shelter.”
The migrant caravan includes asylum seekers from Honduras and other Central American countries fleeing violence, political conflict, and death threats to themselves and loved ones. The administration has absurdly characterized them as a threat to national security. Trump already ordered 5,000 active duty military members troops from the U.S. Army to the border.
Preliminary drafts of the order reveal the President intends to use the same legal justification as the Muslim Ban, which currently bars immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations entry into the United States.