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Trump Wants to Charge Fees to Migrants Seeking U.S. Asylum

President Donald Trump ordered his administration to propose regulations that would impose fees on migrants applying for asylum and speed up the asylum application process.

In a presidential memorandum released on Monday night, Trump said “the security and humanitarian crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border “undermines our nation’s security and sovereignty.”

The memorandum was issued as Trump has strongly indicated that he would make the issues of illegal immigration and border security a centerpiece of his 2020 election campaign. Apprehensions at the southern border have surged despite his administration’s stricter immigration policies, and earlier this month he pushed out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other top immigration officials.

“The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process,” Trump wrote.

New Regulations

The order called for the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to come up with regulations that would impose “a fee for an asylum application not to exceed the costs of adjudicating the application” and “setting a fee for an initial application for employment authorization for the period an asylum claim is pending.”

Other regulations would “ensure that ensure that, absent exceptional circumstances, all asylum applications adjudicated in immigration court proceedings receive final administrative adjudication, not including administrative appeal, within 180 days of filing”

The memorandum did not say what the asylum fees would cost. It asked the attorney general and the acting secretary of Homeland Security to “take all appropriate actions” within 90 days.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment made late Monday night.