Trump administration seeks to deny asylum to migrants who cross border illegally

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As President Trump's administration releases new asylum rules - blocking illegal border crossers from claiming asylum in the U.S. - DHS data notes that the overwhelming majority of Central American migrants who claim "credible fear" do not have legitimate asylum claims.

Once the plan goes into full effect, which is expected to happen in coming days, migrants entering at the USA southern border would only be eligible for asylum if they come to official ports of entry.

Those seeking political or other kinds of asylum - almost all of them coming from impoverished and violent crime-plagued countries of Central America - will be heard exclusively at the border crossings, administration officials told journalists.

The move would largely affect migrants from Central America's Northern Triangle - Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - who cross the US border with Mexico to flee violence and poverty in their home countries.

A senior White House official said that the measure would address the "historically unparalleled abuse of our immigration system" along the border with Mexico.

In 2018, border patrols have registered more than 400,000 illegal border crossers, homeland security said.

The fast-track regulation is nearly certain to trigger legal challenges, Politico reported, even as the announcement of the new measure suggests the president won't ease up on an immigration crackdown that defined his campaign - and first two years in office.

Trump is expected to sign the order on Friday before leaving on a trip to Paris.

Once triggered, it would give the government the power to deny asylum claims to illegal immigrants. However, Trump's focus on the issue during campaigning for Tuesday's hotly contested midterm congressional elections was criticized as veering into immigrant-bashing and even racism. At Trump's request, the Department of Defense has already deployed 5,600 military personnel to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The administration has long said immigration officials are drowning in asylum cases partly because people falsely claim asylum and then live in the USA with work permits.

Claims have spiked in recent years, and there is a backlog of more than 800,000 cases pending in immigration court. The decision notes, however, that this is not to say that Trump cannot end DACA at all, but that in this case, the administration "acted based on an erroneous view of what the law required". They are now about 600 miles (965 kilometers) away.