The Trump administration is seeking to effectively halt migrants from seeking asylum protections at the United States’ southern border, going against decades of U.S. policy.
According to a new rule published on Monday in the Federal Register, migrants’ eligibility for asylum will be limited “if they enter or attempt to enter the United States across the southern land border after failing to apply for protection in at least one third country through which they transited en route to the United States, subject to limited exceptions.”
The rule is expected to go into effect today, although it is likely to be challenged immediately by human rights groups.
Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said at a news conference that his country “does not agree with any measure that limits access to asylum.” Appearing to echo Guatemala’s refusal to become a party to the new U.S. policy, Ebrard said that a “safe third country” agreement with the United States “is not going to happen,” although he appeared to hedge his statement later in the conference.
Meanwhile, the four Democratic lawmakers targeted by President Trump in a series of tweets suggesting that they “go back” to where they came from, have hit back on his remarks, which have been widely condemned as racist. Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts branded Trump’s comments as “a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people.”