December 21, 2018

DHS: Asylum Seekers Must Remain in Mexico to Await Approval

Trump closes a gaping asylum loophole. How long will his sanity hold up in court?

Asylum seekers will not be allowed to wait in the U.S. while their cases play out, Director of Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. “They will not be able to disappear into the United States. They will have to wait for approval.” Nielsen further explained, “If they are granted asylum by a U.S. judge, they will be welcomed into America. If they are not, they will be removed to their home countries.”

This decision by President Donald Trump’s DHS marks one of the most significant immigration policy changes to date. And it’s a welcome one, as it helps to close one of our nation’s most abused immigration loopholes.

The Associated Press reports, “Asylum seekers typically wait years on average before their cases are resolved, allowing them to put down roots in the U.S. while they wait.” The AP also notes, “Only about 9 percent of those who apply are actually granted asylum, and administration officials have long said too many migrants make false claims as a way to stay in the U.S.”

The AP further reports that “discussions between U.S. and Mexico to hammer out the arrangement began well before Mexico’s new president, Manuel Lopez Obrador, took office on Dec. 1. On Thursday, the Mexican foreign ministry said Mexico had agreed to the policy on a temporary basis for humanitarian reasons.”

Predictably, leftists decried the change, with ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt bleating, “This plan cannot be done lawfully and will result in countless people in life-threatening situations.” And while there will certainly be lawsuits, asylum seekers must now remain in Mexico pending court rulings — at least for the time being.

Update: In yet another rebuke from the courts on immigration policy, National Review reports, “The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court’s ruling that blocked the Trump administration from immediately enforcing new rule changes designed to tighten restrictions on migrants seeking asylum.”

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