By Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
President Donald Trump is proposing charging asylum seekers a fee to process their asylum and work authorization 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. 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.
Asylum and employment authorization applications do not currently require a fee to process. It is unclear how many families fleeing poverty would be able to afford such a payment.
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection