- The Washington Times - Friday, November 9, 2018

The ACLU announced a lawsuit Friday to block President Trump’s new asylum crackdown, saying he overstepped his powers and is breaking clear language in the immigration law.

They moved quickly — the asylum crackdown regulations were published and Mr. Trump signed a proclamation triggering them Friday morning.

Under his plan, illegal immigrants who sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border would not be allowed to demand asylum. Those who show up at official border crossings, though, would.

The administration said it hoped to funnel legitimate asylum-seekers to the ports of entry.

But the American Civil Liberties Union, which is leading the lawsuit along with other immigrant-rights groups, said U.S. law requires that everyone, including illegal immigrants, have a chance to demand asylum.

“President Trump’s new asylum ban is illegal,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Neither the president nor his Cabinet secretaries can override the clear commands of U.S. law, but that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.”

The ACLU pointed to a part of federal law that says any migrant who arrives, “whether or not at a designated port of arrival” can apply for asylum.

Federal officials, though, point to another part of the law giving the attorney general the power to write regulations imposing some time and place restrictions.

The government officials said that’s what the new policy amounts to.

They insisted unauthorized migrants can still apply for asylum, but they must come through the ports of entry rather than sneak into the U.S. as their initial act.


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