Last month, USCIS proposed to double the time asylum seekers must wait before becoming qualified to receive a work permit.  Currently, asylum seekers must wait 180 days, but the proposed regulation would extend the time period to 365 days and deny work authorization outright to those who entered the United States illegally. Naturally, this would make it much more difficult for asylum seekers to provide for themselves and their families while their cases await adjudication.

Unfortunately, this proposal is becoming a trend with the Trump Administration, which seems to delight in constructing new methods of making life needlessly difficult for asylum seekers. On April 20, 2019, the Administration proposed charging filing fees for asylum applications, which are filed by those fleeing persecution in their home countries. It should go without saying that many of these individuals, if not most, do not have access to reliable sources of funds to finance their legal case and support their families.

It remains to be seen whether any of these proposed “reforms” make their way into final regulations, which would have the force of law.

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