Foreigners who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally will no longer be allowed to claim asylum under a new rule meant to crack down on "meritless" claims, the Trump administration announced on Thursday.
Non-Americans hoping to claim asylum must do so at an official border crossing under the rule. All others who simply cross into the United States cannot then claim asylum.
"Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so," Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a joint statement. "Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it. Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”
Trump said Friday on the White House lawn: "We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into the country legally."