Specifically, the administration is moving forward with a regulation that would withhold asylum protection from immigrants who cross the border illegally first.
Mr. Trump had telegraphed the move last week, saying he was fed up with migrants exploiting USA laws by making bogus claims.
Officials said once the plan came into full effect, migrants entering at the U.S. southern border would only be eligible for asylum if they reported at official ports of entry.
Frequently attacking a caravan of thousands of Central Americans making their way north through Mexico, Mr Trump ordered troops to the border and declared the migrants to be an "invasion".
Drawing on national security powers, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice issued a fast-track rule barring immigrants from seeking asylum if they first enter the USA illegally.
The new policy would kick in only after the president issues a proclamation blocking entry of illegal immigrants across the southern border. "It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree", Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, responded in in a statement.
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". Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it". The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA 208 (b)(2)(C)) unambiguously states that ineligibility grounds for asylum established by regulation must be "consistent with" section 208 of the INA, which explicitly says that aliens may lodge asylum claims "not at a designated port of entry".
This is expected to put a dent in those streaming into an already overburdened system, officials said, noting that there is a backlog of more than 700,000 cases in the immigration courts. 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.
Administration officials have said existing United States asylum rules encouraged illegal immigration and bogged down legitimate claims.
"President Trump's Proclamation is yet another attempt to destroy the United States´ long tradition to guarantee the fundamental human right to seek protection from life-threatening fear and persecution".
If an asylum seeker enters the U.S. illegally, they have been - until now - still entitled to a hearing of their claim.
"Those who enter the country between ports are knowingly and voluntarily breaking the law", one unnamed official told reporters, the Post reported. And in the last five years, the number of those requesting asylum has increased by 2,000 percent, it said.