On Thursday, Nov. 8, an announcement suddenly appeared on the Department of Justice’s official website that demonstrated very clearly that new Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker is wasting no time settling into his new role. In only his second day on the job, Whitaker took much-needed action in a crucial area of national security.
The announcement was about a new immigration rule on asylum that is being implemented by both the Department of Justice [DOJ] and the Department of Homeland Security [DHS]. It began by stating the following:
“Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced an Interim Final Rule declaring that those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico issued under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) will be rendered ineligible for asylum.”
So this is the unveiling of a new rule about how the asylum system will be implemented for illegal immigrants from this point forward. The press release relates later in the text to the most pressing reason for this crucial rule change:
“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.”
This is fantastic news because a change like this to U.S. immigration/border enforcement policy has been long overdue. The present system has been a farce. Under the old rule, any immigrant in the country illegally arrested anywhere could instantly claim asylum and a case had to be filed for them, taking up resources and valuable time from an already overburdened asylum system.
The ‘before’ and ‘after’ effect of this new rule is going to be stark. Instead of sneaking into the United States and making an asylum claim only after getting caught and facing deportation, immigrants will now have to present themselves to border authorities at a legal point of entry, surrender themselves to custody, and only then will they be allowed to file for asylum. While their case is being processed they will be held in tent cities, and if their claim is found to be without merit or bogus, they will then be deported back to where they came from.
Requiring asylum seekers to go to a border checkpoint and surrender themselves to the custody of the border patrol is what should have been happening all along. Instead, thanks to the Democratic Party’s insistence on open borders, a dysfunctional system was created where people who sneaked into the country and got caught already in the United States were allowed to retroactively claim they were asylum seekers.
President Donald Trump had made it a critical point in recent weeks to comment on how overwhelmed the border facilities are as they try to cope with a staggering number of asylum cases where many of them turn out to be without merit. He had openly hinted on Nov. 1 that this unacceptable situation would be addressed soon.
The joint statement from Whitaker & Nielsen makes it clear that the President has broad authority under existing immigration law to direct the federal agencies involved in securing the nation’s borders to implement and enforce this new rule:
“Section 212(f) of the Immigration and INA states that “[w]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
The abuse of the current system was ended by the President exercising powers well within the scope of his office.
Now that the asylum issue has been settled in advance of the arrival of the large migrant caravans slowly making their way up from Central America and passing through Mexico, Trump will most likely turn his attention back to the national debate he started in recent weeks when he said he was considering using an executive order to end the practice of birthright citizenship.
Immigration was Trump’s main issue in 2016 and he believes it won him the election. It is not surprising to see him immediately return to the issue after the mixed results of the midterm elections, where the GOP expanded its control of the Senate but lost the House to the Democrats.
Brian Cates is a political pundit & writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter at @drawandstrike.
From The Epoch Times
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