WASHINGTON — The White House ordered new restrictions on asylum-seeking Central American families at the southern border Monday, including charging them to file their claims and barring them from working in the U.S.
President Donald Trump, in a presidential memorandum, called for regulations to be drafted within weeks to accelerate the process of adjudicating asylum claims, setting a fee for asylum seekers to file their claims “not to exceed the costs of adjudicating the application” and effectively barring them from working while the claims are being adjudicated.
The memo also orders the attorney general and acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to “reprioritize the assignment of immigration officers” to screen unauthorized immigrants who upon arriving assert a fear of returning to their home country, paving the way for lodging an asylum claim that could then take months or years to be fully adjudicated.
Administration officials contend that the thousands of people traveling as families who arrive at the border with Mexico each day have brought the immigration system to a breaking point; some say the presence of children has created a humanitarian crisis because the border infrastructure is ill-equipped to care for them.
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