United States President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday incorporated a fast-track regulation that will hinder migrants from seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border, reports said. The new rules will be enforced as soon as they are published in the Federal Register and are subject to a presidential proclamation, which is expected to be signed later on Friday.
In a statement issued by the the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the administration said the new rule is aimed at combating the exploitation of the current system. Presidents have the power to “suspend the entry of all aliens” and to impose any restrictions “he may deem to be appropriate on them” if they are believed to be harmful to the interests of the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the joint statement said.
Trump had made immigration his focus while campaigning for the midterm elections that were held on November 6. He had denounced a caravan of migrants making its way through Mexico to the US border and repeatedly called it an “invasion”. He had also sent troops to the border in order to stop them.
Rights groups have opposed the development and described it as a “humanitarian crisis” as it will deter people fleeing violence and persecution in their countries from seeking refuge, BBC reported. The American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International were among the groups that spoke against the administration’s decision.
“Asylum is not a loophole, it is a lifeline,” Amnesty Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said. “This policy needlessly places the lives of thousands of people in danger.”