The Latest: Attorney General Barr defends new asylum rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s new rule for Central American migrants seeking U.S. asylum (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says a new rule by the Trump administration uses “a lawful exercise of authority” to crack down on asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The rule was published Monday and will go into effect Tuesday, blocking migrants from seeking asylum in the United States if they’ve traveled through another country first. Tens of thousands of migrant families from Central America travel through Mexico to the U.S. each month, many claiming asylum.

Barr says the U.S. is being “completely overwhelmed” by migration at the southern border.

Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the new rule “will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration.”

The rule is almost certain to face a legal challenge.

Immigrant rights groups say the Republican administration’s policies are a cruel effort to keep immigrants out.

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8:45 a.m.

The Trump administration is moving to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants.

A rule published Monday bars migrants from seeking asylum in the United States if they’ve traveled through another country first.

Tens of thousands of migrant families from Central America travel through Mexico to the U.S. each month, many claiming asylum. The Trump administration claims families are taking advantage of legal loopholes it says allow migrants a free pass to the country while they wait out phony asylum requests.

The rule is almost certain to face a legal challenge.

U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so. But there’s an exception for those who have come through a country considered “safe.”

Immigrant rights groups say the Republican administration’s policies are a cruel effort to keep immigrants out.

Categories: National News