President Donald Trump ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers Monday, including one that will force those fleeing danger and violence to pay an application fee, The New York Times reports.
Trump ordered the new restrictions in a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Attorney General Bill Barr. Those agencies now have 90 days to set up formal regulations.
“The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process,” Trump said in the memo.
The memo calls on the agencies to create a fee for asylum seekers filing their claims and for their work permit applications. Migrants that illegally crossed the border or tried to cross the border would be barred from receiving a work permit.
Trump has already cracked down on asylum seekers:
“The administration has already tried to restrict the number of migrants who can apply for asylum per day, who qualifies for asylum and where they must wait for a resolution — immigration policies that have been the subject of multiple federal court cases,” The Times reported.
“Stephen Miller, the president’s top immigration adviser, has assumed more power over shaping policies and decision,” the report added. “He was behind the purge of homeland security officials and has advocated aggressive, legally dubious policies, including busing migrants to so-called sanctuary cities to retaliate against Democrats.”
Trump’s policies slammed as ‘truly sickening’:
Former HUD Secretary and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro tweeted that Trump’s latest orders were “truly sickening.”
“Families are fleeing violence and turmoil to seek refuge at our borders and Donald Trump wants to charge them a fee to gain asylum,” he said.
“There’s a reason that we give people work permits while they are waiting for asylum, so that they can support themselves and don’t have to be depending on government assistance during that time,” Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, told The Times.
“The entire idea of asylum is that it’s something that you need because you are fleeing some sort of violence or persecution,” she said, “and to then say that it’s only accessible to people who can pay a fee doesn’t make sense.”