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Trump’s attempts to keep asylum seekers out of the US have hit 5 big hurdles

immigration asylum

  • The Trump administration has pursued a number of policies to reduce access to the US for asylum seekers.
  • But those maneuvers, which come amid increasing arrivals of asylum seekers at the US's southern border, have hit legal, practical and political hurdles.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

(Reuters) – Grappling with a ballooning number of mostly Central American families seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border, President Donald Trump has suggested increasingly bold steps to limit protections for this group and stem their entry into the United States.

Yet many of his administration's ideas have been hindered by legal, practical and political obstacles.

Increasingly frustrated, Trump on Monday issued a presidential memorandum directing officials to make it harder for asylum seekers to apply for work permits and to charge them application fees — drawing immediate fire from the United Nations.

The proposals face a potentially lengthy regulatory review and once rules are issued they may be subject to legal challenges. Many asylum protections are codified in US and international law.

Meanwhile, the flow of migrants continues to swell. In March, the monthly number of people apprehended and deemed inadmissible at the US-Mexico border surged to more than 100,000, the highest level in more than a decade.

Migration is largely driven by poverty, corruption, crime and other factors in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador where the bulk of people are coming from.

Some examples of administration proposals or policies that have run or may run into trouble:

Increase barriers for asylum applications

Business Insider/Daniel Brown

Monday's presidential memorandum directed the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to introduce new regulations tightening asylum policy within 90 days.

In addition to setting a fee for asylum applications, which are currently free to file, the memo ordered officials to issue rules to ensure claims are adjudicated in immigration court within six months.

That provision already exists in US law but has been hampered because of a crushing backlog of more than 800,000 immigration court cases.

The president of the immigration judges' union said the goal is not feasible without a significant increase in resources for the courts.

Detain asylum seekers indefinitely

Associated Press

US Attorney General William Barr recently issued a ruling that allows asylum seekers who cross the border illegally to be held without bond as they challenge their deportation — a decision affecting perhaps tens of thousands of migrants.

It was the latest move by top justice officials seeking to reshape legal precedent in the country's US immigration courts.

Rights groups have already threatened to sue over the measure — which goes into effect in 90 days — and as a practical matter, additional detention space would be needed, requiring funding from Congress.

Until that happens, many migrants are likely to continue to be released with an order to appear in court.

Bar gang and domestic-violence victims

Associated Press

Before leaving office, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions intervened in an immigration case to overturn asylum protections for a domestic abuse survivor.

His opinion sought to narrow protections for migrants fleeing sexual and gang violence perpetrated by private actors.

In December, however, a Washington DC District court judge struck down the policy change and ordered the government to bring back six deported asylum seekers who sued the administration seeking reconsideration.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: US-Mexico border apprehensions have skyrocketed to a 12-year high as officials warn of a 'breaking point'

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