Employment

Court Trashes Trump-Era Rules That Prevented Asylum Seekers From Working Legally

But bureaucratic backlogs mean it's still taking far too long for them to get to work.

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Two rules issued by the Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that restricted work permits for asylum seekers are invalid, ruled a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week.

The rules, both issued in June 2020, affected the ability of asylum seekers to secure employment authorization documents. The first did away with an earlier regulation that required United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process work authorization applications within 30 days after receipt. Notably, the DHS summary of this rule's pros and cons included a lengthy section on the quantitative costs of scrapping the 30-day processing timeline (including lost productivity costs to U.S. companies and lost wages for asylum seekers), but said that quantitative benefits were "not estimated."

The second rule "modified regulations governing asylum applicants' eligibility for employment authorization," according to last week's ruling. It added numerous restrictions to the work authorization process for asylum seekers, including a provision that forced asylum seekers to wait one year before requesting work authorization (up from the previous period of 150 days). The DHS noted that the 365-day waiting period was more fitting due to "an average of the current processing times for asylum applications," in which the wait time for an initial decision may "range anywhere from 6 months to over 2 years." In other words, because it took so long for asylum applicants to receive decisions on their applications, officials opted to make them wait longer for work authorization.

Judge Beryl A. Howell did not comment on the merits of the rules themselves, but the way in which they were enacted. At issue was the ascension of former DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. President Donald Trump formally nominated Wolf for the position, but the appointment never received a full vote in the Senate. In his capacity as acting secretary, Wolf introduced these and many other rules—some of which have since been deemed illegitimate and overturned. "Five other district courts across the country and another Judge on this Court have already concluded that Wolf's appointment as Acting Secretary was invalid," notes last week's decision.

By nature, asylum seekers are some of the most vulnerable migrants coming to the U.S. They must prove they have faced or fear they will face persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a specific social group, or political opinion. Work is a key way they assimilate into their new communities and begin to support themselves financially.

And now more than ever, it's important to get as many people working as possible. There were 10.9 million job openings in the U.S. as of the last Bureau of Labor Statistics report in December. The economy is still struggling on a number of fronts. Meanwhile, over 46,000 people were granted asylum in fiscal year 2019, compared to the 307,000 who applied for it. There are plenty of people interested in coming to the U.S. Only a small percentage of them have been able to secure the right to stay, and unfortunately, Trump-era rules have made it difficult for them to work.

Application backlogs still pose a major challenge to migrants seeking employment authorizations, however. As of November, USCIS estimated that work authorization processing wait times were as high as 21.5 months at its service centers. Several immigration law firms filed a suit against the government over the extreme delays, which keep immigrants out of work for long periods of time. This has been "great cause for concern for individuals who have a job offer lined up or who need to work to maintain their households," notes Jacob Sapochnick of Visa Lawyer Blog.

This is obviously a major obstacle and one that affects more than just asylum seekers. Even so, last week's ruling could begin to provide some necessary relief to many asylum seekers—and to the U.S. economy as a whole.

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  1. Four days and counting. This is beyond embarrassing Reason.

    1. what, with the hacking and the H and the WH and the stuff? cite?

      1. The what now?

        —Reason

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        2. Fiona was listed still in HS in 2018 and maybe even later than that. That puts here in that range of 21-22 years old. Apparently, that's the bar set by Reason for being an "assistant editor" and opinion writer. I suppose that looks great on paper or Fiona, on the same level as the guy who has "CEO" on his one-man janitorial company business card. Under no circumstances does it look good for Reason. I'm guessing the staff budget is pretty low, and that explains much about Reason.

          1. Not sure what Fiona’s age has to do with my point but I’d love for you to tell me more.

    2. Did mastercard defund another sex worker?

    3. Did someone get busted for sex work in a fishing shack?

    4. The question is how to market the narrative to early twenty something blue haired urban dwelling non-binary gender fluid singles who identify as cats.
      It's a growing demographic.

    5. This needs to be the first post in every article every time until they cover it.

    6. PARADISE OTO 1st to 10th – All 10 OTOs’ Details Here >>> https://4u-oto.com/paradise-oto/

  2. Instead of revealing (or even acknowledging) the most egregious crime committed by a presidential campaign against a US President before and after the 2016 election, Reason editors and writers continue trashing Trump in headlines and articles.

    1. It was the result they wanted even if Reason didn’t provide their own election “fortification”; however they are credulous rubes who helped elect the least libertarian FedGovAdmin in modern history. Job well done to Reason’s pretend libertarian pendejo jerkoff staff.

      1. And billionaire patron... don't forget him

        On the plus side we have this unregulated fight club called the comment section whose participants put the reason in Reason [when not brutalizing each other].

    2. Reason writers deserve to hang with other leftists.

      1. When are you going to put your murderous words where your mouth is?

        1. Be careful what you ask for Sarc.

          1. He thinks the government will protect him.

    3. Instead of revealing (or even acknowledging) the most egregious crime committed by a presidential campaign against a US President before and after the 2016 election

      Maybe if conservatives didn't invent so goddamn many fake scandals someone might believe a real one if it happened..

      DEMOCRATS STOLD THE ELECTION FROM TRUMP!

      1. The virus stopped with the masked and vaccinated pee tape that was worse than 9/11.

      2. Please turn yourself in for your crimes against children.

      3. ^^This is what happens when you get your news from CNN. It's an invented scandal cuz Don Lemon says so, Brian Stelter agrees, and Jeffrey Toobin is lending a vigorous hand.

        1. Lending a vigorous hand was all Don lemon was doing when he shoved his doofey fingers in some guys mustache.

      4. Trump colluded with Russia, right?

        1/6 was an honest-to-gosh insurrection.

        2020 riots were all mostly peaceful.

        Joe Rogan is a racist.

        White nationalism is an increasing problem.

        Nobody saw Afghanistan going down as poorly as it did.

        1. Trump colluded with Russia, right? ---Yes, the meeting with Kremlin officials at Trump Tower is well documented.

          1/6 was an honest-to-gosh insurrection. ---Yes, it was a violent attempt to overthrow an election.

          2020 riots were all mostly peaceful. --- No, arsonist thugs should be indicted.

          Joe Rogan is a racist. --- I don't care. He doesn't matter to me.

          White nationalism is an increasing problem. --- When the Dylann Roof's of the White Nationalist movement kill it is.

          Nobody saw Afghanistan going down as poorly as it did. --- It was a SLOPPY PULLOUT as often noted.

          Any more?

          1. Yeah, you’re a peddler of child pornographers and belong in prison. Cover that one. If you have the guts.

            1. You're a lying QAnon cock sucker.

              1. He’s an angry pedophile.

                1. A stupid, ignorant progressive/left-leaning shill and pedophile, at that.

          2. Jesus, you're psychotic.

    4. Dude, the NYTs trashes your supposed story. The target was likely Obama's WH.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/14/us/politics/durham-sussmann-trump-russia.html

      1. The NYT stated in court their articles are only opinion.

        1. “The NYT stated in court their articles are only FICTION”

          FTFY

      2. "Outright misinformation"

        Hey, that's okay! Both Fox News and wingnut.com will run with that fake scandal for months!

        1. Dance monkey.

        2. Have you read the indictment pedo?

        3. Tell me more about how Russian groups spending $100,000 on FB ads cost Hillary the election.

      3. ^^^ is too retarded to realize they were targeting trumps transition team even though Obama was technically still president until trump was sworn in.

        https://www.zerohedge.com/political/unstated-scandal-cia-collected-info-president-trump

        "Yesterday, February 14, Sussmann’s attorney’s disputed the Durham filing – to an extent. They said Sussmann provided the CIA with Executive Office of the President data from “when Barack Obama was president.”

        I have a theory about this.

        If Sussmann’s attorney is telling the truth (never a given), then we suspect the Executive Office of the President data included that from the 74 day the Trump transition period (between the November 8, 2016 election and the January 20, 2017 inauguration) – which would still be spying on the incoming Trump Administration...
        ... What about the data involved with the Trump transition? On August 1, 2016, Trump reached an agreement with the General Services Administration (GSA) “for telecommunication and internet technology services for both the pre- and post-election transition period.”1 This is the agreement. I wonder if Joffe’s company, Neustar, helped the GSA in the execution of that agreement. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not sure it matters, as Neustar already had an agreement to provide “DNS resolution services” to the Office of the Executive of the President.

        Regardless, the “transition theory”, if we can call it that, matches the timeline in the Sussmann indictment, which states that Joffe and his team continued to target “Trump-related computer networks” in late 2016 and early 2017. And it makes sense in context of Sussmann’s conduct, as Sussmann tried to put this information out there in late December 2016."

      4. Holy shit thats funny.

  3. Then again, Reason never wrote an article criticizing Pelosi for:
    - failing to secure the US Capitol on Jan 6, 2021 (after Trump requested lots of National Guard troops),
    - falsely claiming Brian Sicknick was killed by Trump supporters,
    - exonerating a Capitol Police officer who violated police policy by murdering Ashli Babbitt,
    - failing to hold Ray Epps or his coconspirators accountable, and
    - falsely accusing Trump supporters of being insurrectionists.

    1. oh dude and the ice cream freezers. and the +$300 million since taking office.

    2. The January 6th commission is also great from a libertarian perspective.

  4. This is obviously a major obstacle and one that affects more than just asylum seekers. Even so, last week's ruling could begin to provide some necessary relief to many asylum seekers—and to the U.S. economy as a whole.

    Asylum seekers are overwhelmingly low skilled and low paid. The net effect of this is more competition for jobs for the economically most vulnerable Americans, more strain on the US social safety net, increasing inequality, and decreasing living standards for Americans.

    And, of course, the vast majority of asylum applications are invalid and often the asylum seekers never show up in court. So, they get a nice head start on establishing an illegal presence in the US by using the work authorization as a good starting point.

    But, hey, if you're a billionaire living in your billionaire estate with lots of servants and underlings taking care of your every need, that all must sound really good to you!

    Reason: your views on immigration policy are vile and evil.

    1. I propose that Reason give one of them Fiona's job. No doubt one would do it for less, have a bit more variety in content than her one-trick ass and have a bit more thought-reason than blaming the US immigration policy for some dumbasses that froze to death in the Candian wilderness while trying an illegal crossing... for a better life of course [cuz apparently Canada wasn't good enough for them].

    2. These bums getting jobs strains the safety net more than them remaining jobless? That's a new one.

      Also, low-skilled jobs need filling too.

      What increases inequality is people getting paid $0 a year as opposed to $25K or whatever. Not that I care about inequality.

      As to competition, I'll refer to the BLS jobs opening report: "Job openings increased in several industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+133,000), information (+40,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing and state and local government education (+31,000 each). Job
      openings decreased in finance and insurance (-89,000) and in wholesale trade (-48,000)."

      https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm

      Plenty of low-skilled jobs there. Not filling them contributes to inflation, which hits those low-income people you're concerned about the most.

      1. Good grief, you truly are economically illiterate.

        I sincerely hope you reap what you sow and have to live with the consequences.

      2. Why, smart guy, do you suppose there are so many openings? And, no, that's not how inflation works.

    3. Not quite. Billionaires and millionaires have always been able to afford underlings regardless of price. The cheaper nannies, gardeners, and whatnot that the illegals bring enable those under the rich in the economic hierarchy to afford such services.

      1. The cheaper nannies, gardeners, and whatnot that the illegals bring enable those under the rich in the economic hierarchy to afford such services.

        Yes, that's how third world countries function: they have a tiny wealthy elite, a small middle class, and a huge army of low skilled workers. The presence of that huge mass of cheap workers is a major impediment to their development.

        Developed countries ensure that almost all their citizens have skills; as a result, services are very expensive and much of what would be done by cheap low skilled labor is done with automation.

        You are stating pretty explicitly that you want to turn the US into the kind of shithole country found in the third world.

    4. Such lame populist arguments. It's all "evil rich" and "poor poor people". Get a new schtick.

      1. 'Populist,' uh huh. You are not only economically illiterate, you are illiterate. Mindlessly repeating your in-group's ignorant attempted demonization of the out-group does not make a thing true. The fact that your in-group invariably supports policies that are entirely populist makes the attempt that much more amusing.

  5. Our neighbor to the north is imposing martial law to crush a peaceful protest. It was revealed that the national security establishment was actively collaborating with political opponents to spy on a duly elected president. The government is trying to BS the country into a war against another nuclear power half way around the world.

    And the big libertarian issue is that backlogs mean work permits for asylum seekers take too long.

    Right.

    1. Wait, are they sex workers?

      1. Depends if the cartels raped them on their way or not

  6. Why should false claims of asylum get 2 to 3 year work permits? It is an abuse of the system. Make their sponsors pay for them.

    1. That would be taxpayers.

      1. Derp. Legal visa holders must have sponsors, usually family or employers, who vouch for their employment and housing to make sure they don't just quickly end up on social services.

        1. Thank you sir.

          Think this lack of knowledge is indemic on the pure open borders crowd.

    2. What is wrong with them working? That seems like what they should be doing.

      1. You see, they're bad if they don't work (relying to taxpayer money) and they're bad if they work (taking jobs from Muricans). If you hate someone, you'll always find an excuse for why he shouldn't be there. Spoiler: the excuses are flimsy.

        - They come here to take taxpayer money!

        *No, most immigrants — legal and illegal — work.

        - Then they're taking our jobs!

        *That could be said of any added person to the labor market, including through new births. Your neighbor's 21-year-old son is about to enter the labor market and will soon take someone else's job.

        1. No, most immigrants — legal and illegal — work.

          It doesn't matter whether they work; if they don't make substantially above median income, they are a net liability to the US. That's because the bottom 60% in the US pay less in taxes than they consume.

          That could be said of any added person to the labor market, including through new births.

          About 40% of US-born children have a chance to make a net positive contribution to the nation and that's what keeps us going. About 0% of asylum seekers and low skill immigrants are going to have that chance: they lack the skills, the lack the knowledge, and they lack the social network.

          Of course, even for US children, 40% is too low. The culprit is the failed US education system and massive US government overspending. But bad as the US situation is, adding even more low skilled foreigners is going to make it much worse and harder to fix.

  7. "But bureaucratic backlogs mean it's still taking far too long for them to get to work."

    If there's one thing we Koch / Reason libertarians want, it's for foreign-born residents of the US to get to work. Because our billionaire benefactor Charles Koch finds them more cost-effective than US-born laborers, who arrogantly demand things like "livable wages" and "decent benefits."

    #CheapLaborAboveAll

    1. You're down to one Koch. Your gig is on borrowed time.

      1. In the event Charles Koch passes away, I'll just do what you did from 2009 to 2016. I'll use the Warren Buffett Net Worth Index as proof the current Democratic President has created the strongest economy ever.

        #LibertariansForBiden
        #DefendEstablishmentDemocratsAtAllCosts

      2. You think OBL is one of the writers?

        1. No way. OBL is much better.

      3. turd lies; it’s all he ever does. turd is a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to remember which lies he posted even minutes ago, and also too stupid to understand we all know he’s a liar.
        If anything he posts isn’t a lie, it’s totally accidental.
        turd lies; it’s what he does. turd is a lying pile of lefty shit.

    2. If there's one thing we Koch / Reason libertarians want, it's for foreign-born residents of the USfake asylum seekers to get to work

      FTFY

  8. Years ago I used to read 'Skeptic' magazine and watch Penn's 'Bullshit' television show. I basically don't believe any religion or superstition.

    I notice you conservatives fall for crazy bullshit all the time. This Durham prank is just the latest. There are still 50 million Birthers out there.

    Why are conservatives so gullible?

    1. Excellent point Mr. Buttplug. Democrats like us only believe the most rigorously reported information. For example MSNBC's bombshell proving Drumpf has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987.

      #TrumpRussia

        1. And that all it takes to "shut down the virus" is to replace Drumpf with Joe Biden.

          #LibertariansForBiden

              1. You do great work dr. Obl

                1. But I forgot the best one of all!

                  We left-libertarians also believe intelligence assessments that predicted the SECOND INSURRECTION BY RIGHTWING EXTREMISTS would take place on September 18, 2021.

                  #9/18WasWorseThan9/11

                  1. OK, one more.

                    Skeptical left-libertarians like me and Mr. Buttplug believe Drumpf was literally this close to starting World War 4 with China — until Milley's brilliant maneuvering prevented global nuclear holocaust.

                    (Yes, I meant World War 4. World War 3, of course, broke out after Drumpf assassinated that Iranian guy with a missile.)

                    #GladIWasntDrafted

            1. This one was the best. "If Trump went down, Pence and Ryan should both resign and let Hillary become President."

    2. From the guy who still believes trump russia lol.

    3. Why are you a child porn peddling pedophile?

    4. Says the guy wearing 7 masks, quintuple boosted and hiding in his upscale condo, wrapped in Saran wrap while lisping out his window at an unmasked jogger on the street!

    5. turd lies; it’s all he ever does. turd is a trafficker in kiddie porn, a TDS-addled asshole and a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to remember which lies he posted even minutes ago, and also too stupid to understand we all know he’s a liar.
      If anything he posts isn’t a lie, it’s totally accidental.
      turd lies; it’s what he does. turd is a lying pile of lefty shit.

  9. I'm typically onboard with Reason - but on the topic of illegal aliens, I cannot. If the system wasn't incentivizing people to come and milk our tax coffers, that's one thing. But alas, that's not the case. As much as the heartstrings are pulled, these people violated our sovereignty. They further insult those who should come here and benefit this country.

  10. "...By nature, asylum seekers are some of the most vulnerable migrants coming to the U.S...."

    Assumes facts not in evidence; fail.

    1. They are not asylum seekers, but illegal border crossers. The judges are liberal who don't respect the Constitution or US law as it is written by Congress.

      How about that Durham Report Reason? No comment?

    2. It actually might be true, but only by virtue of THEIR OWN ACTION. There is a simple solution to not being the most vulnerable in our country.

      Our country’s obligation is to protecting the rights of her own citizens. Enabling slave labor through illegal immigration is not protecting Americans nor is it helping these people be less vulnerable.

  11. The real issue with bureaucratic backlogs here is that the asylum claims themselves aren't getting judged in a timely manner (1.5 million case backlog). If cases got processed in a timely manner, applicants for asylum wouldn't need interim permission to work.

    But that issue is one that Harrigan and her cohorts don't want solved, because a large majority of these cases result in rulings that the applicant is not eligible for asylum.

    1. Yes. Put enough judges and temporary housing near the border crossings so that all of the asylum claims can be heard within a couple of weeks. Deny entry to all of those with fraudulent claims and admit the small number of those with legitimate claims.

    2. The real issue with bureaucratic backlogs here is that the asylum claims themselves aren't getting judged in a timely manner (1.5 million case backlog).

      That's not an issue for Democrats. They will spend ten years adjudicating the applications while the applicants get jobs, get married, have a couple of kids, etc. and consume lots of government aid.

      Then, by the time they have processed the application, it will be moot, because the asylum seeker will be allowed to stay no matter how the original application came out.

  12. How about they work as asylum claims processors to clear the backlog? Win win.

    1. Even better, the asylum seekers can wait in a safe third country while their claims are being processed. Like Tonga. Or Tanzania.

  13. Gee, harrigan, if it's so much trouble to get all those guatemalans and hondurans in, maybe it would be easier if you moved there. You'd love being called Missy Senorita.

  14. I do not believe the problem we are currently facing is a matter of whether or not asylum-seekers be permitted to work, but instead on what the definition of an "asylum-seeker" is. As best as I can tell, every non-white immigrant is an "asylum-seeker" according to this administration.

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