Trump administration officials have repeatedly blamed US laws protecting asylum seekers for encouraging fraudulent or non-deserving claims.
Increasingly frustrated, Trump on Monday issued a presidential memorandum directing officials to make it harder for asylum seekers to apply for work permits and to charge them application fees - drawing immediate fire from the United Nations.
The vast majority of the asylum claims are ultimately deemed meritless. But that is not the case. As such, they are caught in a triple whammy.
"There's a reason that we give people work permits while they are waiting for asylum, so that they can support themselves and don't have to be depending on government assistance during that time", Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice at the Women's Refugee Commission.
The foundation of worldwide refugee law is the prohibition on sending refugees back to face threats to their lives or freedom; it is not reserved for those who can pay.
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The move is the latest by the White House to bypass Congress and tighten immigration laws in an effort to curb immigration and stymie the flow of migrants seeking asylum on the southern border.
President Trump has signed a Presidential Memorandum to ensure legitimate asylum-seekers can access asylum while more efficiently processing and removing illegal migrants who are not eligible and who do not qualify. The callousness of this proposal is surpassed only by its pettiness.
U.S. President Donald Trump has directed his administration to charge fees for asylum claims and handle cases within 180 days, the White House said in a statement on Monday. Apprehensions at the southern border have surged despite his administration's stricter immigration policies, and earlier this month he pushed out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other top immigration officials. Often, these individuals do not have many resources and arrive with nothing but their families. The current backlog of cases totals over 800,000, with an average wait time of nearly two years. Under President Donald Trump's latest immigration proposal, they could face another demand on their meager resources: a fee to process their asylum applications. It also notes that work authorization is to be stripped from migrants who are denied asylum or subject to a final order of removal.
Since September 2018, 1 out of every 6 family unit cases filed on special expedited dockets at 10 immigration courts has ended with an in absentia removal order. Speaking to reporters, they did not say a word about Trump's asylum memorandum or any other aspect of his anti-immigrant policy. But he has also emphasized the importance of aid to Central American countries - even though Trump cut State Department funding to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala this year. Attorney General William Barr said this year that asylum seekers who have passed their initial screenings are no longer entitled to be released while their cases play out. These new policy changes come in response to an influx of families from Central America fleeing violence in their home countries that led to the number of unauthorized border crossings last March reaching over 100,000, the highest monthly total since 2006.