USCIS notes that the measure seeks to discourage these types of applications from obtaining work authorizations. Lawyers and activists warn that the policy confirms that immigration agents are becoming prosecutors and judges, and that they do not let immigration courts do their job.
The Donald Trump government announced Wednesday a new rule that further restricts employment authorizations (EADs) to people who come to the United States seeking asylum. The Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said the measure seeks to “deter frivolous or fraudulent asylum seekers from obtaining work authorizations” while their cases are resolved in immigration courts.
Immigration courts have amassed over 1 million cases that are handled by around 440 judges. On average, it takes 3.2 years for each file to be resolved. While the immigrant waits for the resolution of his files, the government for humanitarian reasons grants a work permit 180 days after the asylum request was presented.
Who does not affect
According to USCIS, the new rule “will allow protections to be extended to those with bona fide asylum claims.” But the agency does not detail what parameters its agents will use to determine when a petition is reliable and what crimes will prevent an asylum seeker from receiving an employment authorization while waiting for a judge to resolve his case.
Lawyers consulted by Univision Noticias criticized the measure. “They (USCIS agents) have no way of knowing if an application is in bad faith,” says Barbara Hines, an immigration attorney and former professor at the University of Texas School of Law Legal Clinic in Austin. ., and they are not letting the immigration courts do their job.”
USCIS said the proposed rule stems from the Presidential Memorandum of April 29, 2019, on additional measures to improve border security and restore the integrity of our immigration system.
He specified that it is the policy of the United States “to administer humanitarian immigration programs in a safe and orderly manner, and to immediately deny benefits to those who do not qualify.”
“Our immigration system is in crisis. Illegal aliens are messing with our asylum system in search of economic opportunities, undermining the integrity of our immigration system and delaying aid to legitimate asylum seekers .
The change to asylum policy had been noticed in August. On that date, Univision Noticias reported that the government planned to deny work permits to immigrants seeking asylum and entering unauthorized places on the border with Mexico.
Earlier this month it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was considering further restricting the issuance of work permits to asylees. The measures included denying authorization to those who have been in the country for less than a year.