President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE is reportedly considering implementing a plan to block Central American migrants fleeing for the U.S. from claiming asylum when they reach American soil.
The move reported by the Washington Post Thursday night is the latest potential escalation in the president's preoccupation with a caravan of such migrants slowly trekking toward the the southern border.
The report said Trump is looking at using authority like he did when he implemented a travel ban on certain majority Muslim countries to bar Central Americans from entering the country as a matter of national security.
The Post reviewed a draft of the plan, which argues the president has authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to declare migrants ineligible for asylum if it runs "contrary to national interest."
Senior administration official warned The Post that such a move was one of several under consideration, and nothing final had been deciding.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If the administration were to close off the border to Central American migrants, it would likely face immediate legal challenges, just as the travel ban did.
The Supreme Court upheld the travel ban in June, reversing lower court decisions and ruling that Trump had broad powers under immigration law to block entry to the country.
Thousands of individuals from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have formed a so-called caravan to flee violence and poverty in their home countries and seek asylum in the U.S.
The approaching group captured the attention of the president, who has tweeted about it or publicly comment on it frequently in recent days.
Trump has seized on the caravan with less than two weeks left until the midterm elections and has painted it as an imminent threat to national security and vowing to deploy the military if needed to stop it from entering the country.
He has spread the unfounded theory that the group's members were paid to come to the U.S., and claimed that "unknown Middle Easterners" had embedded themselves in the caravan. Trump later acknowledged he did not have proof of the latter claim.