The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have sued the Trump administration to block the restrictions. A hearing is scheduled next week in federal court in California.
The asylum workforce was notified of the changes late Monday night, and did not suggest that it was in a pilot phase.
“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in a statement Monday. “It will allow the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to “more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.”
Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the ACLU, called the rule “patently unlawful” in a statement Monday
“The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger. This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly,” the statement said.