WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump proposes to charge asylum seekers a fee for processing their claims as he continues to try to fight the rise of Central American migrants attempting to enter the US.
Signed in a Presidential memorandum on Monday, Trump instructed his Attorney General and acting Security Minister to take additional measures to overtake the asylum system he finds "in crisis" and plagued by "rampant maltreatment."
The changes are just the last of a series of proposals from a government struggling to increase the number of migrant migrant families on the southern border who have overburdened federal resources and Trump's efforts to win the border claiming to be cumbersome while applying for re-election. Most incoming people claim to flee violence and poverty, and many claim asylum under US and international law.
As part of the memo, Trump gives officials 90 days to enact new provisions to ensure that applications are resolved within 180 years of filing, except in exceptional circumstances.
And he instructs officials to charge a fee for processing asylum and work permit applications – which are currently not payable.
The White House and DHS officials did not immediately respond to questions about how many applicants had to be paid, and it is unclear how many families fleeing poverty can afford such a payment.
The memo says the price would not exceed the cost of processing applications, but the officials did not immediately state what that might be.
Trump also wants anyone who has illegally entered or tried to enter the country from receiving a temporary work permit and calls for officials to immediately revoke work permits if individuals are denied asylum and deported from the country.
He also calls on the Homeland Security Authority to reassign immigration officials and other personnel to improve the integrity of decisions, of credible and reasonable fear claims, to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws, and to ensure foreigners' compliance with laws; have the final removal orders.
Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months with agents who reported more than 100,000 arrests or refusals in March, a 12-year high.
Colleen Long, Associated Press contributed to this report.