President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday that suspends granting asylum status to migrants who cross the U.S. border illegally.
“Illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into our country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum. Instead, migrants seeking asylum will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry,” the proclamation reads.
Reuters reported that the president’s order will be in place 90 days or until the United States “reaches an agreement with Mexico allowing it to turn back asylum-seekers who had traveled through Mexico, whichever comes first.”
Trump invoked the same authority granted to him under the Immigration and Nationality Act that he utilized in issuing his 2017 travel ban, which was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.
Section 215(a) of the INA states: “Unless otherwise ordered by the President, it shall be unlawful for any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe.”
Additionally, Section 212(f) provides: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
Trump’s order explains that the current asylum system is being “overwhelmed, and is contributing to a growing migrant crisis “by encouraging aliens with meritless claims to illegally cross our border, claim ‘credible fear,’ and then be released.”
According to the proclamation, prior to 2013, 1 in every 100 aliens claimed credible fear, but since being coached those are the “magic words,” that number has spiked to 1 in 10.
Trump was asked about his immigration proclamation prior to his Friday departure to Paris to participate in ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“People can come in, but they have to come in through the ports of entry. It’s a very important thing,” he said.
“We need Democrat votes,” he added. “They have to pass new immigration laws, because (migrants) are flooding our country. We’re not letting them in, but they’re trying to flood our country. We need the wall. We’re building the wall, but we need to build all at one time and quickly.”
“We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into our country legally. We want people to come in through the merit system,” Trump said.
The president’s order is certain to face legal challenges from immigrant rights groups.
Trump also addressed the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals decision on Thursday blocking the administration from winding down former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, which was created by executive order.
“The good news is by rejecting DACA in the 9th Circuit yesterday … We get to the Supreme Court,” Trump said. “President Obama said he had no right to sign it …. The DACA will now hopefully go to the Supreme Court where it will be given a fair decision.”