In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center joined with the Center for Constitutional Rights to allege on Friday that the Trump administration is in violation of immigration law and a federal statute that governs the way administrative agencies can issue rules. In a statement released by the ACLU, Omar Jadwat said, “President Trump’s new asylum ban is illegal.” Jadwat, who is the director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said furthermore, “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. This action undermines the rule of law and is a great moral failure because it tries to take away protections from individuals facing persecution — it’s the opposite of what America should stand for.”
Democrats have also decried the president's action on immigration. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) -- who will probably chair the House Judiciary Committee when the Democrats rule the House of Representatives -- was harshly critical of Trump, for example.
In a presidential proclamation released on Friday by the White House, President Donald Trump seeks to ensure that illegal border-crossers will face consequences. "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," said the president according to the White House.
Here follows the text of the proclamation:
PROTECTING OUR NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY: President Donald J. Trump is taking action to ensure asylum is not a free pass to cross our borders illegally without consequence.
President Trump is using the authority granted to him by the Immigration and Nationality Act to manage and protect the integrity of our immigration system and our national sovereignty.
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states plainly: “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.”
Section 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act similarly 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.”
Just this June, the Supreme Court upheld the President’s broad statutory authority to implement entry restrictions.
President Trump is signing a proclamation declaring that migrants seeking asylum along the southern border must present themselves lawfully at a port of entry.
Those who arrive at a port of entry will remain eligible for asylum.
Also, additional resources are being deployed to support our ports of entry.
UPHOLDING THE RULE OF LAW: The Trump Administration is rightfully and fully restoring the rule of law on our southern border.
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly issued a new rule to ensure aliens who are subject to the kind of proclamation that the President is issuing are not eligible for asylum.
The joint rule, when paired with the Presidential proclamation, means that any alien who illegally enters our country will be ineligible for asylum.
These bold actions will ensure that those seeking asylum respect our laws and our borders.
RESPONDING TO THE BORDER CRISIS: Our Nation is experiencing an unprecedented crisis on our southern border, driven in part by fraud and abuse that has overwhelmed our asylum system.
Our overwhelmed asylum system is contributing to this growing crisis by encouraging aliens with meritless claims to illegally cross our border, claim “credible fear,” and then be released.
Aliens are often coached to repeat the “magic words” to meet the initial low bar for credible fear.
Prior to 2013, around 1 in every 100 arriving aliens claimed credible fear and sought asylum, but today that number has spiked to 1 in 10.
These claims have jumped by around 1,700 percent in the last nine years.
There has been an overwhelming surge in aliens from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (the Northern Triangle) arriving at our border to claim credible fear.
Most migrants from the Northern Triangle do not have valid asylum claims, but they are released into the country because our asylum system has become overwhelmed.
Nearly two-thirds of aliens who claim credible fear are from the Northern Triangle.
Asylum seekers know they will be released into the country and receive work permits while their often meritless claims go through our backlogged immigration courts.
Last year, nearly half of the completed cases that involved aliens who claimed credible fear resulted in the alien failing to show up at a hearing or even to file an application for asylum.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.