President Trump announced new changes to the asylum process in an effort to “safeguard our system against rampant abuse.”
In a presidential memorandum sent to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan Monday night, the White House outlined a series of measures to strengthen the U.S.’s immigration laws.
“Our immigration and asylum system is in crisis as a consequence of the mass migration of aliens across our southern border,” the memo states. “In Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019, I declared a national emergency to address the security and humanitarian crisis at that border. That emergency continues to grow increasingly severe.”
The memo directs officials to charge a fee to process asylum and employment authorization applications.
“Propose regulations setting a fee for an asylum application not to exceed the costs of adjudicating the application … and other applicable statutes, and setting a fee for an initial application for employment authorization for the period an asylum claim is pending.”
Trump also gave officials 90 days to develop new regulations that would ensure asylum applications are adjudicated within 180 days, “absent exceptional circumstances.” According to The New York Times, “more than 800,000 cases are pending, with an average wait time of almost two years.”
The memo also calls on barring anyone who enters or attempts to enter the U.S. illegally from obtaining a provisional work permit. Further, work authorization is to be revoked from illegal immigrants who are denied asylum and ordered to be removed from the country.
President Trump said Monday night on Twitter that if Democrats don’t want to fix the nation’s immigration laws, Republicans must work hard to get the votes necessary to do so in the 2020 election.