In an effort to deal with the problem of growing fraudulent asylum claims at the southern U.S. border, the Trump administration is modifying the asylum rules to include a requirement that asylum should be sought at the first safe country of travel.
During a video interview U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli explains the new rule requiring asylum-seekers to apply in the first country they enter instead of the U.S.
(Fox News) – The Trump administration on Monday announced a sweeping new policy tightening restrictions for asylum seekers, in a move that could drastically reduce the number of Central American migrants eligible to enter the United States in this way.
The new rule, published in the Federal Register, would require most migrants entering through America’s southern border to first seek asylum in one of the countries they traversed – whether in Mexico, in Central America, or elsewhere on their journey. In most cases, only if that application is denied would they then be able to seek asylum in the United States.
“Ultimately, today’s action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,” Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement, describing the “targeted changes” as critical.
[…] The latest change is meant to crack down on asylum seekers coming to the U.S. more for economic reasons than to escape persecution in their home countries. The new policy does include a couple other exceptions, mainly for certain victims of human trafficking.
Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement that the change would curb “forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States—while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground.” (read more)