President Donald Trump is proposing charging asylum-seekers a fee to process their applications as he continues to try to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross into the U.S.
In a presidential memorandum signed Monday, Trump directed his attorney general and acting homeland security secretary to take additional measures to overhaul the asylum system, which he insists “is in crisis” and plagued by “rampant abuse.”
The changes are just the latest in a series of proposals from an administration that is struggling to cope with a surge of migrant families arriving at the southern border that has overwhelmed federal resources and complicated Trump’s efforts to claim victory at the border as he runs for re-election. Most of those arriving say they are fleeing violence and poverty and many request asylum under U.S. and international law.
Trump is giving officials 90 days to come up with new regulations to ensure that applications are adjudicated within 180 days of filing, except under exceptional circumstances.
And he is directing officials to begin charging a fee to process asylum and employment authorization applications — which do not currently require payment.
Trump also wants to bar anyone who has entered or tried to enter the country illegally from receiving a provisional work permit and is calling on officials to immediately revoke work authorizations when individuals are denied asylum and ordered removed from the country.