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

Glacier Gymnastics big winner in annual grant funding

Columbia Basin Trust doled out $1.4 million in grants to the regional organizations

Procter working to reopen community bakery

The Procter Community Society is fundraising upwards of $100,000 for the project

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read