President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes members of the Baylor women’s basketball team, who are the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Champions, to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump says he wants asylum seekers to pay a fee to apply

The White House did not specify a fee, nor how families fleeing poverty would pay any fee

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 seeking 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.

As part of the memo, 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.

The White House and Department of Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to questions about how much applicants might be forced to pay, and it is unclear how many families fleeing poverty would be able to afford such a payment.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, at a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva on Tuesday, said he had no information on the fees and other measures in the proposal from Trump. But seeking asylum, spokesman Charlie Yaxley said, “is a fundamental human right, and people should be allowed to exercise those rights when seeking to seek asylum.”

Trump’s memo says the price would not exceed the cost of processing applications, but officials did not immediately provide an estimate for what that might be.

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 people are denied asylum and ordered removed from the country.

The Republican president also is calling on Homeland Security to reassign immigration officers and any other staff “to improve the integrity of adjudications of credible and reasonable fear claims, to strengthen the enforcement of the immigration laws, and to ensure compliance with the law by those aliens who have final orders of removal.”

Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months, with border agents making more than 100,000 arrests or denials of entry in March, a 12-year high.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in early April amid Trump’s increasing frustration over how many Central American families were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

READ MORE: Nothing wrong with help from Russians, Trump lawyer says

READ MORE: Man tosses cellphone, removed from Trump’s NRA speech

___

Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.

Jill Colvin, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interpreters and historic building access offered again at Fort Langley National Historic Site

Parks Canada attraction had been closed since mid-March due to coronavirus pandemic

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

VIDEO: Man collapses on Langley street

Multiple police, fire and ambulance units responded to incident outside Timms community centre

Langley thieves make off with $10,000 worth of remote control cars

Police are also investigating the theft of a pair of commemorative bridge plaques

19 times on 19th birthday: Aldergrove teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

Police watchdog investigating after Abbotsford man seriously injured during arrest

Abbotsford police used ‘less lethal firearm’ and dog in arrest of man believed to have gun

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Most Read