The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice issued new asylum rules on Monday in hopes of further curbing fraud and abuse fueling the current border crisis.
New rules will bar Central Americans and other “asylum” migrants from seeking asylum in the United States after failing to do so in the first available country as they travel north through Mexico.
"While the recent supplemental funding was absolutely vital to helping confront the crisis, the truth is that it will not be enough without targeted changes to the legal framework of our immigration system. Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major 'pull' factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey,” Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said about the change.
“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,” he continued.
The new rules will officially go into effect tomorrow.
“This Rule is a lawful exercise of authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum. The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border,” Attorney General Bill Barr said.
“This Rule will decrease 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,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham made a visit to the border last Friday and plans to mark up legislation further addressing asylum abuse later this week.