Trump eyes asylum limits for caravans; would they be legal?

President Donald Trump again stoked fears Thursday about undocumented immigrants and promised an executive order "sometime next week" that would severely restrict asylum-seekers who approach the southern US border.

Trump has been escalating his already aggressive attacks on undocumented immigrants ahead of the November 6 midterm elections.

He said that his administration is finalising a plan to deny asylum to migrants who cross into the U.S. illegally, a move that would be sure to draw legal challenges should it come to fruition.

If Trump attempts to indefinitely detain children in tent cities with their parents, he likely will run afoul of a court order forbidding the practice. Trump has said this week that those in the caravan would not get asylum - though US law allows them the right to apply - and warned them to turn around.

The Immigration and Nationality Act says that anyone who arrives in the U.S. "whether or not at a designated port of arrival" may apply for asylum if he or she has a "well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion".

It is not clear whether the plan would pass legal muster.

But Trump offered few details on how exactly he planned to overhaul an asylum system he claimed was plagued by "endemic abuse" that he said "makes a mockery of our immigration system". "We have a lot of everything". We're gonna consider, and I told them consider it a rifle.

Immigrant rights groups are expected to challenge any limits placed on access to asylum. The migrants are still more than 1,000 kilometers (more than 620 miles) from the USA, a distance that will likely take several weeks for them to walk.

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There is a second group of 300 people from El Salvador and a third group that confronted police at the Guatemala-Mexico border on Sunday. "And so we are making that our soldiers, our Marines are going to be fully trained in how to do that interaction", Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy said. He dialled this rhetoric up a notch today gave a characteristically will-he-or-won't-he threat to the migrants, saying that if they throw rocks at American border guards (which presumably they would do only if denied entry), then Trump says the American forces will consider it as if they were shooting guns and will not hesitate to shoot back.

Trump also tweeted a video Wednesday alleging Democrats were responsible for allowing a homicidal immigrant into the USA but provided no evidence supporting that claim.

Two years ago the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS released a joint document detailing methods used by Russian intelligence services to influence the 2016 US Presidential election, which was eventually won by Donald Trump.

Trump said he was not anti-immigrant but wanted immigration to be completely brought under control.

Instead, Trump told journalists at the White House, stone-throwing migrants or people asking for refugee status on the southern border are "going to be arrested for a long time". Administration officials have railed against what they say are loopholes created to encourage people, especially from Central America, to come to the USA and claim asylum.

Since 2014, Central American families and unaccompanied children, often seeking asylum, have made up a greater proportion of all apprehensions than in the past, making swift deportations more complicated.

The lawsuit demands that the federal government allow the migrants to plead for asylum, but there is no evidence that President Donald Trump intends to prevent the migrants from asking for asylum. Of those who show up at court, about 13 percent are granted asylum, according to fiscal year 2016 numbers, when more than 65,000 asylum applications were received.

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