Jeff Sessions was around for two years and it always felt like he was afraid of his shadow.
President Trump’s new Attorney General, Matt Whitaker is not making the same mistake.
On the job for only a few days, Whitaker’s DOJ teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security to fulfill one of Trump’s wishes: a temporary ban on the ability for those crossing the southern border to claim asylum.
In other words, he just took away a huge motivation for the Migrant Caravan.
President Trump is playing the game very aggressively and it looks like he might finally have an Attorney General who will back him up!
Here was the announcement:
Here it is bigger for you to read:
CNBC covered the story:
The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled tough new rules on asylum seekers who break border laws, in President Donald Trump's latest hard-line move on immigration policy.
The new rule, announced by the Justice Department and Homeland Security, declares that immigrants who illegally cross the border will be stripped of their eligibility to receive asylum in the U.S. The rule is prospective, meaning it does not cover anyone who has entered in the past, senior administration officials said.
The new restrictions won't take effect until Trump applies them in a presidential proclamation, which could possibly be issued Friday, a senior administration official said.
The action is one of the first taken by Matthew Whitaker in his newly appointed role as acting attorney general. Whitaker, who was Attorney General Jeff Sessions' chief of staff, got the promotion after Trump fired Sessions a day earlier.
Whitaker, in a joint statement with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, said "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."
Earlier Thursday, NBC News reported that the administration expects to be sued over the new immigration policy. But two senior administration officials told the outlet that they expected the U.S. Supreme Court, emboldened by a 5-4 conservative majority, to ultimately uphold the plan.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the most recent addition to the high court and Trump's second pick, is expected to side with the four other conservative justices and defer to the president's executive authority, the officials told NBC.
Reuters also had coverage:
President Donald Trump on Friday effectively suspended the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, seeking fresh ways to block thousands of Central Americans travelling in caravans from entering the United States.
The order, which goes into effect on Saturday, means that migrants will have to present themselves at U.S. ports of entry to qualify for asylum. U.S. immigrant advocates rushed to court to try to block the policy.
“I just signed the proclamation on asylum - very important,” Trump told reporters on Friday before leaving for Paris. “People can come in but they have to come in through the points of entry.”
The order followed other rules unveiled on Thursday that sought to limit asylum claims.
Trump made his hard-line policies toward immigration a key issue ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections. He has vowed to deploy troops at the border to stop a caravan of mainly Honduran migrants, currently edging their way through Mexico.
Several hundred of the caravan started north again on Friday after a rest in Mexico City. Many of them have said they want to seek asylum in the United States, citing violence in their own countries.
Trump’s proclamation said mass migration on the border had precipitated a crisis and he was acting to protect the national interest.The order will be in effect for 90 days or until the United States reaches an agreement with Mexico allowing it to turn back asylum-seekers who had travelled through Mexico, whichever comes first.
U.S. and Mexican diplomats have held talks over the issue this year, but there has been little indication Mexico would agree to such a pact.
Mexico’s interior ministry had no comment on the Trump order, an official at the ministry said.