A day after his administration set out new rules on how to deal with asylum seekers, President Donald Trump signed a new executive action which would not allow people who enter the United States illegally to ask for asylum, requiring anyone who wants that protection to petition at an official crossing along the southern border with Mexico.
“We need people in our country but they have to come in legally and they have to have merit,” the President said, as he made another move to block those in an immigration “caravan” in Mexico from getting into the U.S.
“They have to come in to our country legally,” Mr. Trump told reporters, just before he boarded Air Force One for a trip to France.
It was clear that the new executive action signed by the President was issued with the ‘caravans’ in mind, as the document started by addressing its possible approach to the border in coming weeks.
“The continuing and threatened mass migration of aliens with no basis for admission into the United States through our southern border has precipitated a crisis and undermines the integrity of our borders,” the President stated.
“I therefore must take immediate action to protect the national interest, and to maintain the effectiveness of the asylum system for legitimate asylum seekers who demonstrate that they have fled persecution and warrant the many special benefits associated with asylum,” he added in the executive action.
Democrats in Congress scoffed at the President’s move, as legal groups said it would likely be challenged in court.
“US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum whether or not they are at a port of entry,” the ACLU said.