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Legal Asylum Seekers Are Punished by Trump’s Newest Immigration Policy

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Asylum seekers in the U.S. are overflowing shelters in Mexico waiting for their claims to be processed.

The Trump administration has long said that there’s a right way to seek asylum in the United States: Come to an official port of entry at the border, then invoke the right under U.S. law to humanitarian protection.

But now, thousands of people are being barred from the U.S. precisely because they followed those rules.

Under an administration policy issued last week, most migrants who’ve passed through a third country—say, Mexico—will not even be allowed to request asylum at official border crossings.

That includes thousands of asylum seekers—from countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and Cameroon—who were already waiting at Mexican border towns to gain entry to U.S. ports when the new rule took effect.

Because the Trump administration has strictly limited the number of asylum seekers allowed to enter most of the U.S./Mexico border’s busiest ports each day, these migrants signed on to unofficial waitlists and spent months waiting to gain legal entry to the U.S. as asylum seekers.

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