The Trump administration filed a regulation Monday that could dramatically limit the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum if they enter the United States by land through Mexico, according to a document filed by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security in the Federal Register.
Here’s part of what the document says:
“Pursuant to statutory authority, the Departments are amending their respective regulations to provide that, with limited exceptions, an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum,”
The rule would take effect immediately — but it is certain to face legal challenges.
What this means: The regulation would prohibit migrants who have resided in a third country from seeking asylum in the US. It would, therefore, bar migrants transiting through Mexico from being able to claim asylum and as a result, drastically limit who’s eligible for asylum. The regulation is an interim final rule, which allows the new restrictions to go into effect immediately.
It’s the latest attempt by the Trump administration to toughen the US asylum process and has the potential of affecting a large swath of migrants journeying to the US-Mexico border. CNN previously reported that President Donald Trump had been considering the regulation.
The ACLU has said that it will “sue swiftly” in federal court.
CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez contributed reporting