The policy to limit asylum to people who cross at official ports of entry — teed up by a regulation published Thursday night — is Trump’s most legally-dicey immigration move yet.
On Friday morning, the Trump administration is expected to take the most legally aggressive move it’s yet made on immigration — preventing people who cross the US/Mexico border without papers from getting asylum unless they go through a port of entry, or official border crossing.
Under US law, people who enter the US without papers are legally able to apply for asylum unless they are subject to specific restrictions. This policy would turn that on its head, by adding a restriction that would affect the majority of the 10,000 people a month — most of them Central Americans, and many of them children or families — currently turning themselves in to border agents in hopes of being protected from violence in their home countries.
It will force asylum-seekers to choose between having to wait for weeks or longer at overloaded ports of entry — unless they’re prevented by smugglers from coming to a port at all — and risking near-immediate deportation by crossing illegally and turning themselves in to Border Patrol.
The administration has already laid all the groundwork.
The administration is issuing a new regulation that will go into effect immediately when it’s formally published in the Federal Register Friday — an unusually aggressive move that is almost certainly going to be challenged in court by immigration advocates.
Under the new regulation, people who are subject to a presidential immigration proclamation — like the Trump administration’s “travel bans” of 2017 (the last of which was upheld by the