The Trump administration announced a new rule aimed at drastically reducing the number of migrants who are eligible to claim asylum at the United States border. The rule would require migrants who travel through other countries on their way to the United States to seek asylum in one of those countries first.
The rule would make most migrants who travel through Mexico ineligible to claim asylum when they reach the U.S. border.
"Ultimately, today's action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits," Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.
The rule will take effect immediately, but the American Civil Liberties Union says it plans to file a lawsuit to block the government from denying claims by migrants who traveled through other countries.
"The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country's legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger," Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director of the Immigrants' Rights Project at the ACLU, said in a statement. "This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly."
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