Before the mid-terms, President Trump frequently denounced a caravan of thousands of Central Americans making their way north through Mexico.
If an asylum seeker enters the USA illegally, they have been - until now - still entitled to a hearing of their claim. 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.
The US president used extraordinary national security power to impose the new rule as a migrant "caravan" containing thousands of Central Americans heads to the US border. U.S law states that any individual can seek asylum, whether or not they are at an official point of entry.
"This interim regulation is not only inconsistent with the letter of the law, but flatly contradicts it", Frelick said.
Trump's proclamation does not apply to unaccompanied children, officials said. However, Trump's focus on the issue during campaigning for Tuesday's hotly contested midterm congressional elections was criticized as veering into immigrant-bashing and even racism. A senior administration official said Thursday that the vast majority of such claims are "non-meritorious".
In 2017, the USA fielded more than 330,000 asylum claims, almost double the number two years earlier and surpassing Germany as highest in the world.
The ban drew multiple legal challenges and forced the administration to issue three different versions before a revised ban was upheld in June by the Supreme Court on a 5 to 4 vote.
Under US law, there is a legal obligation to hear asylum claims from migrants if they say they fear violence in their home countries.
It is unclear how numerous migrants traveling in the caravans will approach the ports of entry and attempt to enter legally. Trump announced Thursday that he would make such a move. And in the last five years, the number of those requesting asylum has increased by 2,000 percent, it said.
Trump has also expressed an interest in ending birthright citizenship to those born to non-citizens and for ending the the so-called DACA protections of those who've been in the US for years but were brought into the country illegally while children. By 2023, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the USA will make up almost 15 percent of the entire US population.
He called a current caravan, which is still hundreds of miles from the United States border and dwindling in numbers, an "invasion" and said it would bring hardened criminals to U.S. streets. Several smaller groups were trailing hundreds of miles to the south; officials estimated about 7,000 in all were in the country in the caravans.