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.