The Trump Administration has previously stated that it would not accept claims of asylum from migrants who have been caught illegally entering the country at the southern border. This policy was enacted to deter illegal immigration and ease border enforcement. The administration’s policy would only allow claims for asylum to be heard at a port of entry with a fair hearing process.
The President claims “aliens who enter the United States unlawfully through the southern border in contravention of this proclamation will be ineligible to be granted asylum,” he wrote. “The arrival of large numbers of aliens will contribute to the overloading of our immigration and asylum system and to the release of thousands of aliens into the interior of the United States.”
Trump took to Twitter to reaffirm his proclamation:
Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain. Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away. Dems must approve Border Security & Wall NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2018
As the administration’s policy went into effect, Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order late Monday which forced the government to hear all claims for asylum from migrants who have been apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol for entering the country illegally, directly challenging the policy issued by the President.
On Tuesday, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security issued a joint statement, “It is lawful and appropriate that this discretionary benefit not be given to those who violate a lawful and tailored presidential proclamation aimed at controlling immigration in the national interest,” according to DOJ spokesman Steven Stafford and DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman.
“And it is absurd that a set of advocacy groups can be found to have the standing to sue to stop the entire federal government from acting so that illegal aliens can receive a government benefit to which they are not entitled,” they said in reference to the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center.
We look forward to continuing to defend the executive branch’s legitimate and well-reasoned exercise of its authority to address the crisis at our southern border.
DOJ and DHS officials have defended the President’s decision and believe he has the right to amend immigration levels under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The temporary restraining order is in effect until December 19th at which point a second hearing with be held which the President intends to fight vigorously.
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