Trump Admin. Moves to Fix Broken Asylum System with This New Policy

John Romero | July 15, 2019
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Faced with inaction in Congress, the Trump administration has issued new rules on asylum that would bar migrants who did not apply for asylum in countries they have traveled through from applying in the U.S. 

According to the Associated Press, the new policy published in the Federal Register on Monday requires asylum-seekers to apply in the first “safe” country that they enter while trying to make their way to the southern border.

“This rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States,” said Attorney General William Barr on the matter.

There are exceptions, however, as the AP reports: 

There are some exceptions, including for victims of human trafficking and asylum-seekers who were denied protection in a country. If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties governing how refugees are managed (though most Western countries signed them) a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum.

The rule is expected to go into effect Tuesday.

The change is sure to face legal challenges, like when the President moved to have asylum-seekers wait in Mexico while their claims were being processed.

The amount of asylum claims has skyrocketed over the past years.

When fact-checked by PolitiFact, Trump had said that a nearly 1700% increase in asylum claims had been seen in the last 10 years. This claim was very-nearly true from 2007-2016 as an increase of 1675% was seen.

Abuse has also been more rampant in the system. Earlier this year, former Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said that 80% of claims at the southern border are rejected. Requiring migrants to apply in a different country for asylum, hopefully the already overwhelmed immigrant detention facilities will finally see some sort of relief.