Immigration

To Discourage Migration, Trump Orders Asylum Seekers Pay Fees to Apply

The plan is likely to backfire and cause more illegal border crossings by the people most desperately in need.

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President Donald Trump on Monday ordered new restrictions on those seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, including imposing fees on asylum applications and barring work permits from those who cross the border illegally.

The move comes as an influx of Central American migrants continues to flood the system. Many of those arriving are families that are released into neighboring border towns while they await a court date. The president's actions also follow the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary of homeland security, which reportedly came after she declined Trump's request to stop accepting asylum seekers altogether.

A presidential memo, sent to Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, further requires that asylum cases be adjudicated within 180 days. More than 850,000 cases are currently lodged in the court system with an average wait time of two years. 

"The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process," Trump said in the memo.

Administration officials have 90 days to create regulations in line with the restrictions stipulated by Trump. They are likely part of his deterrence strategy, made infamous by his "zero tolerance policy," which endeavored to prosecute every adult who crossed the border illegally and soon led to family separations. The effort to dissuade would-be migrants with harsher immigration enforcement has shown no measurable impact, however, as more than 103,000 undocumented immigrants crossed the border in March.

The restrictions will almost certainly be challenged in federal court. If they survive the inevitable legal challenges intact, the new fees on asylum applications could cripple the ability of some migrants—many of whom say they are fleeing humanitarian crises in their home countries—to seek asylum the legal way. Migrants are currently not charged any fees when applying for asylum protections.

Fees would also be placed on work permits, which allow immigrants to legally obtain employment while awaiting their court hearings. Work permits would be revoked completely for those who crossed the border illegally until their asylum claims are adjudicated.

If border crossings are any indication, with March's tally the highest in over a decade, asylum seekers without the necessary funds will almost certainly still make the trek. The thought of an application fee is considerably less spooky than the allegations of persecution many such migrants are fleeing—even for those who acknowledge they are only running from destitute financial conditions, which does not qualify for asylum. But they will be incentivized to cross illegally.

Trump has consistently railed against undocumented immigrants. In recent months, however, he has shown a new openness toward those that take the legal route. "I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever," he said during his State of the Union Address. "But they have to come in legally." His administration, however, is making it more and more difficult to do just that.

Trump's aspiration to declutter the courts and adjudicate all cases within 180 days is a sensible one. But it would require a substantial investment in the system, which currently relies on approximately 400 judges to wade through the hundreds of thousands of cases that are rapidly piling up.

Keren Zwick, associate director of litigation for the National Immigrant Justice Center, told The Washington Post that processing the inflow of claims within that time frame would be a near impossible feat and would corrupt the integrity of the process. "There's a fine line between quick adjudication and being railroaded through the system," she said. "It's not like asylum seekers want to sit here in limbo forever. But they also don't want to be punished for seeking asylum."

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73 responses to “To Discourage Migration, Trump Orders Asylum Seekers Pay Fees to Apply

  1. Cue the haters of illegal sub-humans now to come out in droves here and say, if they cannot pay their asylum fees, let them carve up their bodies and sell the organs to raise the money! If their living bodies can NOT make it to the Promised Land, then at least their souls will have some money with which to appeal to Government Almighty, in the afterlife, for forgiveness of their sins, for having been born on the wrong side of the line in the sand… Now this does assume, yes, that one can take one’s money with us, when crossing over to the other side… If we exchange our money for gold, and swallow it, does Saint Peter (working for Government Almighty at the Pearly Gates) demand to X-Ray us and shine lights up our butt-holes, to see if we’re sneaking some “undeclared money” through?

    Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!!!

    1. Cue the dishonest hack idiots who want to pretend any of the southern border jumpers have legitimate asylum claims (if they did, they are required to seek asylum in Mexico)

      1. Yes, I (and the Government Almighty in my pocket) have dispassionately and objectively determined that NashTiger has reviewed ALL the facts, for ALL of those who would like asylum, and “we” have determined that NONE of them have ANY of even the TINIEST of legitimate reasons as to WHY they should be entitled to asylum!

        (If they have ANY reasons why, “au contraire” our official determination, they may dispute our findings in Government Almighty HELL!!!) (At their own expense, of course).

        1. You seem unhinged. You should seriously consider taking a break from the news for awhile.

      2. any of the southern border jumpers have legitimate asylum claims (if they did, they are required to seek asylum in Mexico)

        That’s not true.

        https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/asylum-bars

        You may not be eligible to apply for asylum if you:

        Did not follow the one-year filing deadline and did not file your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of your last arrival in the U.S. or April 1, 1997, whichever is later.
        Had a previous asylum application denied by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
        Can be removed to a safe third country under a two-party or multi-party agreement between the United States and other countries.

        Currently, only Canada is a “safe third country”. Not Mexico.

  2. Keren Zwick, associate director of litigation for the National Immigrant Justice Center, told The Washington Post that processing the inflow of claims within that time frame would be a near impossible feat and would corrupt the integrity of the process. “There’s a fine line between quick adjudication and being railroaded through the system,” she said. “It’s not like asylum seekers want to sit here in limbo forever. But they also don’t want to be punished for seeking asylum.”
    The system is ALREADY corrupted. Lawyers tend to be liars and push the system to give their immigrant clients a hearing when they know there is no legitimate claim for asylum.

    Most illegals do not have a valid claim for asylum in the USA. Being poor is NOT a valid claim for asylum into the USA.

    1. [citation missing] and arguing by assertion. we’re better off with you, cletus. go back to the washington times.

      1. Poor new troll. Were better off without new Lefty trolls.

        1. this is a libertarian site, not alt right. libertarians, like the editors of this magazine, support the free movement of labor and the freedom to enter into a contract with any consenting adult without interference from non consenting third parties. Sorry, cletus.

          1. Poor troll. Script is malfunctioning.

  3. Trump has consistently railed against undocumented immigrants.

    One of his main 2016 election winning points was his promise to curb illegal immigration.

    If it weren’t for Lefty judges who want to usurp Congressional and Presidential enumerated power to regulate migrants and national defense, the immigration court system would be mainly hearing claims by legal immigrants.

    1. “If it weren’t for Lefty judges who want to usurp Congressional and Presidential enumerated power to regulate migrants and national defense, the immigration court system would be mainly hearing claims by legal immigrants.” [citation missing]

      analysis: white trash speculation based on 0 data, legal precedent, or ethical framework. best to ignore. maybe it will kill itself.

      1. Poor new trolls. They hate Libertarianism.

        1. yes, pointing out that you’re arguing by assertion without any supporting data means i hate a particular political perspective. seriously, kill yourself.

          1. Poor new troll. Same as the old trolls.

      2. Analysis: This individual has not learned how to form complete sentences. This individual has not learned about capitalization yet.

        1. analysis – grammar pedantry outside of formal, written communication is both misguided and annoying

  4. President Pantone 159 is on to something here, but why stop at immigration? Shouldn’t voters have to pay a fee too? Those ballots don’t print themselves, and those polls don’t tabulate themselves. There should be a tax. A poll tax if you will. Because freedom isn’t free™.

    1. Permission to operate your business or weapons ownership, ditto… All those permits aren’t FREE, ya know!!!

      And personal-bodily C-Oh-2 exhalation permits, too… C-Oh-2 exhalation causes globabble warmerering, ya know…

      Let these kinds of camels’ noses under the tents fester, and there is NO limit to where the Statists (right, left, middle, or illegal-subhuman-hating) will take us!

      1. yeah, man. All those climate scientists who have PhDs in climate science or some related field and have studied, debated, and reviewed peer work for the majority of their careers are wrong, and you, random white trash nobody on the internet, somehow know better than the overwhelming consensus of the experts in this field.

        Science doesn’t care what you believe. The data support anthropogenic global warming. Just like the fossil records support evolution regardless of what your bible tells you.

        1. Studies funded by the Evil Oil KKKorporations and the Evil KKKoal KKKorporations, about globabble warmerering, can NOT be believed, because they have an axe to grind! Studies funded by the Government Almighty, on the other hand, are TOTALLY dispassionate and objective, because ALL people, as soon as they accept ONE single dollar as servants of Government Almighty, become totally selfless and objective! They would NEVER stoop so low as to calculate, “Well, if I say that the sky is NOT falling. will I get any more fed-guv research grants”?

          All that to the side, do NOT accuse me of not caring!!! To fight globabble warmerering, I serve as a human carbon sink!!! Every time that there is free food to be had (family reunion picnic, etc.), I store as much food as possible, onto my body, keeping carbon OUT of the atmosphere!!! WHEN am I getting a tax credit here?!?!?

          1. hence why you are relegated to the margins of serious conversation.

            1. Poor trolls blathering back and forth.

    2. The last time I checked I was paying about 50% of my income to fund government provided services.

      1. “Services” including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. So the payment scheme is a cynical impediment to immigration, not a principled act. As we all know.

  5. I oppose making asylum seekers pay fees on humanitarian grounds–at the very least. Even if doing so were legal, in line with treaties that have been properly ratified by the Senate, I’d still oppose making asylum seekers pay fees on humanitarian grounds.

    1. Why do you think Trump is proposing to charge fees to penniless asylum seekers?

      1. He’s probably hoping that it will make the headlines in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in the hope that it will discourage asylum seekers from coming here.

        What difference does it make?

        It’s not like he endorsed the Green New Deal.

      2. To keep a step ahead of Lefties like you.

        Being ooor is not a valid reason for asylum into the USA and now the illegals will have skin in the game when they lie about their reasons for wanting to ignore America immigration laws.

        1. alt right trash should kill itself.

          1. When are you going to kill your socialist self?

            Inquiring Libertarians want to know.

  6. How is this different from rewuiring fees fir pistol permits?

    1. i’m sorry, are you really asking how a firearm permit and seeking asylum are not the same things? Are you trying to come off as an unsympathetic alt-righty?

      1. Does he make you literally shake?

      2. They are different things. There is no constitutional right to asylum. If a fee can be imposed on a constitutional right, a fee can be imposed on anything.

  7. the people most desperately in need.

    Fuck their needs. Immigration policy should be based on our needs.

    1. totally. Das Volk can’t be having their Lebensraum crowded by brown people.

    2. Thank heavens Vernon is here to inform us all what “our needs” are.

      1. Please copy and paste from where I said what anyone’s needs are.

        1. Immigration policy should be based on our needs.

          1. Learn how read.

            1. Oh, so you don’t want to try to tell us what our needs are then.

              Okay, fine. I need a person to mow my lawn. But, I’m kinda choosy. Would you allow me to hire the person of my choice, even if that person is from out of the country? After all, immigration policy should be based on “our needs” according to you. So, what do you say?

              You’re not going to try to claim that I don’t “need” to hire a foreigner to mow my lawn, are you? Because you wouldn’t want to try to dictate what “our needs” are or anything. Oh no no.

              1. You should be allowed to hire anyone you wish to mow your lawn. If that person is not in the country legally, that is a matter between them and our government. If you abetted that person in entering the country illegally, then their status concerns you, also.

                If you and others feel that your needs are not being met because the supply of alien lawn care technicians is insufficient, then you are free make your case to other citizens and our government representatives that the laws should be changed to allow more of them to be here. I will not try to tell you what your needs are.

                1. You should be allowed to hire anyone you wish to mow your lawn.

                  But you don’t actually believe that, do you? You’d throw me in jail for hiring a person who isn’t on the state-approved list.

                  then you are free make your case to other citizens and our government representatives blah blah blah

                  Why should the decision of who is permitted to mow my lawn be left up to them in the first place?

                  1. Learn how to read.

                    Why should the decision of who is permitted to mow my lawn be left up to them

                    Them is us.

                    1. Jesus, let’s dig a grave for Chemjeff, everyone, cause he got murdered by words.

              2. I need someone to mow my lawn at 50 cents an hour.

                1. You should be free to offer the job at that price. No one will take it, but you should be free to offer it.

            2. “Immigration policy should be based on our needs.”

              Please tell us how to read that , if it doesn’t say what it says. SCROTUS has taught us how to do that with the USA Cunts-Tits-Tution; now do it for us (Please?) w/respect to your writings?

              1. In other words, to Chemjeff’s point, the use of “our needs” terms implies that you or anyone else wants to determine what “our needs” are, while we’d be better off deciding for ourselves, each on an individual basis, what we need. Do you want “democracy” to decide? Via vote? For EVERYTHING? What we should eat for breakfast tomorrow? Who you should marry or sleep with? What religion (or none) that you should follow? Clearly a LOT of things are better off if left to our individual choices!

                1. the use of “our needs” terms implies that you or anyone else wants to determine what “our needs” are

                  No. The use of “our” means that WE as a nation should decide what our immigration policy should be, through our democratic processes. It does not suggest that any individual should impose a policy.

                  while we’d be better off deciding for ourselves, each on an individual basis, what we need.

                  Then you would be the one dictating to others, unless you are suggesting that you should be allowed to keep immigrants on your own property as slaves.

                  Do you want “democracy” to decide?

                  Yes.

                  Via vote?

                  Usually, no. Most decision making is more practical through a representative system. I’m not a big fan of direct democracy.

                  For EVERYTHING?

                  No.

                  Clearly a LOT of things are better off if left to our individual choices!

                  But foreign policy is not one of those things. When we set policy on how to deal as a nation with other nations, we must speak as a nation through our national government.

                  1. This is what happens when a rational person debates a moron. Good responses to someone clearly beating up a straw man.

                    1. that was the stupidest rejoinder i’ve ever seen from someone who has the delusion of thinking they’re libertarian. oh my.

              2. Please tell us how to read that , if it doesn’t say what it says. SCROTUS has taught us how to do that with the USA Cunts-Tits-Tution; now do it for us (Please?) w/respect to your writings?

                Sorry, that was unintelligible.

                1. SCROTUS (more seriously SCOTUS) finds things written in the Constitution that simply aren’t there at all… Via penumbras and emanations, per some of their writings… I am waiting for them to use “auras” and “vibes” next, who knows!

                  You used (wrote) collective terms (and then denied it) with respect to immigration policy. Hence the allusion to ignoring the written word. I personally STILL can not see WHY we (as a collective nation) have to collectively decide who can travel over here and mow my yard, and who can not. WHY can’t I decide for myself?

                  A good summary of why freer immigration is best, can be found at http://www.cato.org/policy-report/januaryfebruary-2019/myths-facts-immigration-policy

                  1. WHY can’t I decide for myself?

                    WHY should you be able to make that decision for all of us?

                    1. Because it is MY yard, and MY freedom of association, to decide who I can mutually agree with, to have mow my yard. All other busy-bodies NOT party to the contract, should butt out!

                      In more comparative detail here…

                      If I hire a young (native-born) physically and-or mentally handicapped person to mow my yard or do other simple tasks for me, and I patiently help teach them some job skills while doing so (and paying them), I am generally “socially admired” by most folks. If some asshole lectures me about how, now, I am going to have to be responsible for all of the education, emergency room costs, etc. (beyond the taxes that I already pay) for such a person, the vast, vast majority of common folks will look at such a lecturing asshole, and call him or her an asshole, inwardly if not verbally.

                      Now suddenly if I do the same, while also teaching an illegal sub-human about speaking English, and American culture, there’s a HUGE number of assholes who want to lecture me about me now having to play nanny to, and assume all costs for, said illegal sub-human! WTF, what justifies this??!

                    2. Your yard, your rules? OK, it’s a deal. It’s fine with me if you import your alien lawn boy, as long as he stays on your property and does not consume any public benefits. Should he violate this agreement and leave your property for any purpose other than to return to his home country, you will be responsible for all the costs of apprehending and deporting him. You must provide proof of your ability to pay those costs before importing him. Under these terms, it’s no one else’s business.

                      WTF, what justifies this??!

                      You opened by answering that question. It’s your yard. The rest of the country is not yours. You may decide who is welcome in your yard. You may not decide for all of us who is welcome in our country. Is it a deal?

                    3. jesus you got fucking destroyed. just give it up. if you want to pedal your xenophobia, a libertarian site is not the best place to do it.

                    4. the rest of the country is not yours. you have no right in a libertarian framework to decide from Oregon who gets to immigrate to florida. You can disagree, but then you’re taking an anti-libertarian position. If that’s your outlook, i suggest you head over to stormfront with the rest of your alt right trash buddies.

                    5. You’re arguing for States’ Rights, and I’m the one who should head over to Stormfront?

                    6. oh vernon. silly.

                    7. no one is forcing you to house immigrants. no one is forcing you to employ them. no one is forcing you to do anything for them that you aren’t already forced to do for people who live just as far or further away from you than Mexico.

                      Additionally, first gen immigrants may strain local finances, but their children generally use welfare services at lower rates than any other relevant cohort. With our birth rates, we’d be starving for labor, tax revenue, human capital etc without immigration.

  8. No such thing as a free lunch, Mr and Mrs Future-Public Charge.

  9. Poor Lefties and their plan to chnage American voting demographics by using illegal immigrants.

    Failure…again.

    1. stormfront would be a better fit for it.

      1. Poor new troll.

  10. Cloward-Piven knows no boundaries.

  11. “To Discourage Illegal Immigration, Trump Orders (80% of Whom Are Bogus) Asylum Seekers Pay Fees to Apply”

    The whole system is broken, but there is a system, and a process, and a line. Trying to cut that line with bogus asylum claims needs to be strenuously discouraged.

  12. Interesting backpedal there Reason. Increased housing costs decreases the supply of housing, but increasing immigration costs increases the supply of immigration? 555-COME-ON-NOW

    1. fcking knuckledragger. they’re saying increased barriers to entry encourage people to break rules. make it too hard to buy drugs legally? you get a black market. Make it too hard to immigrate legally, you get more illegal immigration. Suggested reading: principles of economics by Greg Mankiw.

  13. […] It’s worth noting that for all its emphasis on the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, the Trump administration’s actions often speak louder than words. Just this week, for instance, Trump ordered new fees on asylum applications as part of a plan that’s likely to backfire, as Reason‘s Billy Binion detailed. […]

  14. […] “The plan is likely to backfire and cause more illegal border crossings by the people most desperately in need.” — Billy Binion, Reason […]

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