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Trump official says asylum bar will drive down case backlog

WASHINGTON — A top Trump administration immigration official is defending efforts to effectively end asylum for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ken Cuccinelli says the move is necessary to drive down a massive backlog of immigration cases.

Cuccinelli, the acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, spoke to The Associated Press on Friday, two days after the Supreme Court allowed sweeping regulations to take effect while litigation challenging the policy continues.

The new U.S. policy would effectively deny asylum to nearly all migrants arriving at the southern border who aren’t from Mexico. It disallows anyone who passes through another country without first seeking and failing to obtain asylum there.

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