The administration of US President Donald Trump says it will no longer allow people who enter the country illegally to claim asylum, a controversial new crackdown on immigration by the US government.
The regulations were released on Thursday by the US Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with an order by Trump.
The move would effectively ban migrants who cross the US border with Mexico illegally from qualifying for asylum.
Once the plan goes into full effect, migrants entering at the US southern border would only be eligible for asylum if they report at official ports of entry, US officials said.
Human rights groups and immigrant advocates denounced the move, saying it violated existing US law that allows people fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries to apply for asylum regardless of whether they enter illegally or not.
“US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum whether or not they are at a port…