The Trump administration continues to explore methods to block asylum seekers from entering the country, despite the legality of seeking asylum in the United States. Their latest tactic is placing a financial burden on asylum seekers and withholding their ability to work.
In a presidential memorandum signed on April 29, President Donald Trump directed officials in the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to toughen rules for asylum seekers. These rules include introducing a fee for asylum applications, which are currently free to file, and barring asylum seekers who entered the country illegally from working until their claims are approved.
These new rules would require regulatory procedures that would likely take months to complete before the rules can go into effect. However, if they are implemented, they could shift how asylum seekers are treated when entering the country. President Trump directed the officials to implement the rules within 90 days.
Barring entry is not a new tactic
The Trump administration has tried similar tactics before. They tried to require asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their hearing could take place in the U.S., but a judge blocked this rule. Most of the administration’s rules have been challenged in federal court and the Trump administration has not succeeded.
The Trump administration is likely to continue its aggressive approach, as President Trump pushed out DHS head Kirstjen Nelson to find a new leader and named Kevin McAleenan to be the acting head of the department earlier this month.