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President Trump Proposes Changes to Complicate the Asylum Process

President Trump has been implementing increasingly controversial and dangerous policies to limit the rights and protections afforded to asylum seekers attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. On April 29, 2019, he proposed sweeping changes to how the USCIS manages cases involving asylum-seekers just to counter the supposed “mass migration of aliens across our southern border.”

The president has never been discreet when it comes to sharing his feelings about immigration or America’s asylum program. In the past, he has called the program a “scam,” and complained that immigration attorneys were coaching violent criminals through the process. During his speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last month, he disrespectfully opined that asylum-seekers are “Some of the roughest people you’ve ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the UFC. They read a little page given by lawyers that are all over the place – you know lawyers, they tell them what to say. You look at this guy, you say, ‘wow, that’s a tough cookie.’” He then quipped that migrants are the ones who will “do the accosting” once they’re granted asylum.

According Priscilla Alvarez, a CNN reporter, “This [memo] is the latest move from the White House to attempt to change the immigration landscape without congressional action.” She further elaborates that “The measures outlined in the memo would likely make it harder to apply for asylum by slapping a fee on applications and keeping some from working legally in the US ‘before any applicable application for relief or protection from removal has been granted.’ It also notes that work authorization is to be stripped from migrants who are denied asylum or subject to a final order of removal.”

In the aforementioned memo, Trump ordered the attorney general and the homeland security secretary to develop a proposal that includes the following policies:

  • All asylum applications must be settled within 180 days of filing.
  • There will be a mandatory fee for all asylum applications and work permit applications.
  • Any migrants who have entered or attempted to enter the U.S. illegally will be barred from receiving work authorizations.

The Justice and Homeland Security Departments have 90 days to develop this proposal. However, it’s likely that the proposal will be challenged in federal court and put to rest before it can actively impact any hopeful asylum-seekers.

Seeking Asylum? Schedule a Consultation Today.

The rights of asylum-seekers are protected under the Refugee Act of 1980 and the 1967 United Nations Protocol on Refugees. If you’re attempting to escape persecution in your homeland, contact the experienced and compassionate Houston asylum attorneys at Simon Law Group, PLLC. Our trial-tested legal team can assist you with the application process and guide you through each step of this complex legal process.

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