Tuesday, June 4, 2019

President Trump weighs plan to choke off asylum for Central Americans

Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images
The draft proposal would deny asylum to thousands of migrants waiting just south of the border.
President Donald Trump is considering sweeping restrictions on asylum that would effectively block Central American migrants from entering the U.S., according to several administration officials and advocates briefed on the plan.
A draft proposal circulating among Trump’s Homeland Security advisers would prohibit migrants from seeking asylum if they have resided in a country other than their own before coming to the U.S., according to a Homeland Security Department official and an outside advocate familiar with the plan.
If executed, it would deny asylum to thousands of migrants waiting just south of the border, many of whom have trekked a perilous journey through Mexico.
Trump is weighing the move as he pursues other plans to crack down on migration at the southern border, including new tariffs on Mexico that he announced Thursday night. Trump said he would impose a 5 percent duty on all goods coming from Mexico starting June 10 to pressure that country to do more to stop migrants from Central Americans from entering the United States.
"The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied," Trump wrote on Twitter
Earlier Thursday, Trump hinted at changes to his administration’s border policy as he departed for Colorado, telling reporters he was “going to do something very dramatic on the border” and would announce it in a “big league statement.”
“It will be a statement having to do with the border and having to do with people illegally coming over the border,” he said. “And it will be my biggest statement, so far, on the border. We have brought something to the light of the people. They see now it’s a national emergency, and most people agree.”
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