Trump introduces sweeping changes to asylum

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Washington, April 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has announced a plan for sweeping immigration changes that take direct aim at migrants seeking asylum.

The memo issued on Monday evening for the Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary outlines a series of measures to address the situation along the border with Mexico, CNN reported.

The measures include adjudicating asylum applications within 180 days of filing; requiring a fee for asylum applications and work permit applications; and barring migrants who have entered or attempted to enter the US illegally from receiving work authorization before any relief or protection is granted.

The memo says the Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary are to take action within 90 days. The Department of Justice oversees the nation’s immigration courts.

Trump has repeatedly railed against the nation’s immigration system, accusing migrants of taking advantage of what he’s deemed legal loopholes.

The Department of Homeland Security has previously reported a 2,000 per cent increase in migrants claiming credible fear, the first step in the asylum process, over the last five years.

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 authorisation is to be stripped from migrants who are denied asylum or subject to a final order of removal.

In the memo, the President also cites his national emergency declaration, which allowed him to circumvent Congress and unlock money to build his signature border wall, reports CNN.

Border apprehensions have continued to increase.

In March, there were more than 92,000 arrests of undocumented migrants for illegal entry on the southern border, up from 37,390 in March 2018, according to data from Customs and Border Protection.

–IANS

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