The White House Calls for Charging Asylum Fees

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump signed a presidential memo yesterday that calls on the relevant federal agencies to develop new anti-immigration policies and publish them within the next 180-days.

More specifically, the memo calls on the Department of Homeland Security and the agencies it oversees to develop plans to charge asylum seekers a fee for applying for asylum, among other things that I would call self-defeating or contradictory.

From the Washington Post:

It calls for the United States to charge a fee for asylum applications, and it seeks to ensure that, “absent exceptional circumstances,” all asylum applications will be adjudicated within 180 days of filing.

The moves would prohibit those who have entered the United States illegally from receiving provisional work permits until they have been approved for relief or protection from removal.

U.S. immigration law grants the attorney general the authority to impose fees on asylum applicants, but does not require such payments, and migrants seeking refuge to avoid deportation have not been charged.

I think it goes without saying that charging women and children fleeing violence in their home countries a fee just to file an application for asylum is heinous.

Trump is more or less asking immigrants to pay for their own detention because he can't wrangle more funding out of Congress without ceding some ground to immigration reforms that may reduce the need to detain anyone in the first place.

Meanwhile, declaring that immigrants who cross the border illegally cannot obtain legitimate work permits means at least some will not have the money required to file an application for refuge that Trump wants to charge them for.

But that's the idea, isn't it? If you charge a fee to people who have no money, that will lead to more deportations.

This is Jim Crow for the border.

  • Christopher Foxx

    declaring that immigrants who cross the border illegally cannot obtain legitimate work permits

    I’m all for reforming our immigration system, and for treating any who comes here humanely regardless of how they do it. But it’s sentiments like “denying those who cross Illegally the chance to get legal work permits” that always give me pause.

    Humane treatment. Fair hearings. Absolutely not separating families. And not treating those that present themselves at a valid crossing and try to follow whatever process we do have in place like they’re criminals. But let’s not act as if those that do cross illegally did do so illegally.

  • muselet

    On the other hand …:

    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.”

    Donald Trump wants to charge people a fee for exercising a fundamental human right.

    Monsters. We’re being governed by monsters.


    • Christopher Foxx

      “We’re being governed by monsters….”

      that we elected.

  • All cruise ships will now institute a “boarding fee” for all lifeboats. Same deal, really.

  • simpfan
  • Draxiar

    “Give us your tired, your poor, your wretched refuse so we can dehumanize, imprison, and humiliate them because we are terrified of others.”