According to the Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order changing a long-standing a policy that will affect the fate of foreign nationals seeking asylum in the United States. Under the proposed immigration policy change, asylum seekers may be required to enter the country through ports of entry to apply for asylum.
Citing sources inside the administration, the Journal reports that Trump may sign the order by Friday, before his scheduled Paris trip. The same officials added that the policy is only temporary, but have provided no definite timeline of its implementation.
President Trump preempted this announcement last week in a speech at the White House days before the midterm elections, claiming that he had a planned policy change that will ensure “the illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into the country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum.”
Should Trump push through with the rumored executive order, it would oppose the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which states that a foreign national’s claim to asylum is valid and must be processed whether they enter the country illegally or through a point of entry.
Consistent with the administration’s other efforts to curb lawful and unlawful immigration, Trump intends to keep asylum-seekers in tents as opposed to the current set-up where they are allowed to stay with family members already lawfully present in the country while they await their legal hearings.
“We are building massive numbers of tents and we will hold them in tents,” the President stated.
The policy change coincides with recent news of a massive caravan of immigrants from Central America making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border. The caravan is composed of families seeking to enter the U.S. to escape poverty and gang violence in their home countries. Trump, however, has not specified whether the policy will apply to all asylum-seekers or only those coming in from the approaching caravan.
“These illegal caravans will not be allowed into the United States and they should turn back now,” Trump asserted, calling the caravan an “invasion.”
Trump, whose campaign centered on anti-immigrant rhetoric, warned that the incoming caravan would likely be violent. While he maintained that the US is a welcoming country, he suggested that US soldiers may open fire on the caravan if
“I hope there won’t be that, but I will tell you this – anybody throwing stones, rocks like they did to Mexico … we will consider that a firearm, because there’s not much difference,” he said.
The caravan of Central American migrants continues to make its way to Mexico City. At least two other caravans made up of Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans are slowly following in their wake.
If you would like to learn more about this latest update to U.S. immigration policy, or have a loved one seeking immigration assistance, don’t hesitate to sit down for a consultation with the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today at (512) 215-5225 to talk to immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.