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.

Just Posted

GREEN BEAT: Langley prof witnesses a desperately dry country

The current drought in New South Wales is being called one of the worst ever, B.C. is so fortunate

Still anyone’s game in lacrosse championships unfolding in Langley

Orangeville, Okotoks victorious on Day 2 of Minto Cup nationals at the Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: A few small changes help drive attendance at Saturday’s Arts Alive

Langley art festival brings close to 200 various artists and thousands of spectators to Langley City

Abandoned house blaze worries Langley neighbours

Redevelopment area of Willowby attracts squatters and partiers, and fires fear area residents

Day 1 underway at 2019 Minto Cup in Langley

Coquitlam and Orangeville out ahead after the first day of action at Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: Bubblemania in the burbs

Doggies frolic about when a bubblemaking machine is set to create fun in their Langley City yard

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read