President Trump is proposing charging asylum-seekers a fee to process their applications as he continues to try to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross into the US. In a presidential memorandum signed Monday, Trump directed his attorney general and acting homeland security secretary to take additional measures to overhaul the asylum system, which he insists "is in crisis" and plagued by "rampant abuse," the AP reports. Most of the migrant families arriving at the southern border say they are fleeing violence and poverty and many request asylum under US and international law.
As part of the memo, Trump is giving officials 90 days to come up with new regulations to ensure that applications are adjudicated within 180 days of filing, except under exceptional circumstances. And he is directing officials to begin charging a fee to process asylum and employment authorization applications—which do not currently require payment. The White House and DHS officials did not immediately respond to questions about how much applicants might be forced to pay, and it is unclear how many families fleeing poverty would be able to afford such a payment. The memo says the price would not exceed the cost of processing applications, but officials did not immediately provide an estimate for what that might be.
(Read more US-Mexico border