As expected, Donald Trump on Friday morning issued his “presidential proclamation” on immigration.
The announcement comes on the heels of Thursday’s sweeping decree, which effectively makes it impossible for immigrants who enter the country illegally to apply for asylum.
That “interim rule” was issued under the same authority as Trump’s Muslim ban and it’s sure to be challenged in court, although the administration reportedly believes they will win, thanks in no small part to Brett Kavanaugh.
For those who missed it, we detailed the implications of the interim rule on Thursday evening. Under the new rule, asylum must be claimed at a port of entry which means that once Trump issues an official proclamation (which he did this morning), anyone who enters the country and does not claim asylum at a designated port of arrival, will be automatically denied asylum should they make a claim later.
The only exception would appear to be instances where asylum claims are accompanied by a “reasonable fear of torture”, which is obviously a pretty high bar to clear for asylum seekers, especially considering they would have to present their case as part of an expedited-removal procedure.
This is necessary, Trump swears, because the caravan of Central American migrants en route to the U.S. represents a threat to America’s national security. That is obviously absurd and you’re reminded that the Pentagon reportedly does not share that assessment despite agreeing to go along with this charade by deploying thousands of active-duty troops to the border.
In Friday’s proclamation, Trump claims a “substantial number” of the “aliens” coming from Central America “appear to have no lawful basis for admission” into the U.S.
“The continuing and threatened mass migration of aliens with no basis for admission into the United States through our southern border has precipitated a crisis and undermines the integrity of our borders”, the President says, adding that he needs to “take immediate action to protect the national interest.”
Here’s Trump on Friday morning telling you how proud he is of this:
In the proclamation itself, Trump reiterates that anyone who enters illegally and wants to claim asylum will have to demonstrate that they’re likely to be tortured if they’re sent back to their country of origin.
“Aliens who enter the United States unlawfully or without proper documentation and are subject to expedited removal may avoid being promptly removed by demonstrating, during an initial screening process, a credible fear of persecution or torture”, the President says.
In any event, you can read the full interim rule in the post linked above. The bottom line is that the administration will now need to brace for a court battle and also prepare itself for a brutal PR debacle as this is just further evidence to support critics’ claim that Trump’s immigration policies are cruel and that the White House is creating a “crisis” where none exists.