By Lyle Rapacki
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2019
April 29, 2019
MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
SUBJECT: Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States as well as to ensure that the Nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. As noted in Proclamations 9822 and 9842 of November 9, 2018, and February 7, 2019, respectively, our immigration and asylum system is in crisis as a consequence of the mass migration of aliens across our southern border. In Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019, I declared a national emergency to address the security and humanitarian crisis at that border. That emergency continues to grow increasingly severe. In March, more than 100,000 inadmissible aliens were encountered seeking entry into the United States. Many aliens travel in large caravans or other large organized groups, and many travel with children. The extensive resources required to process and care for these individuals pulls U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel away from securing our Nation’s borders. Additionally, illicit organizations benefit financially by smuggling illegal aliens into the United States and encouraging abuse of our asylum procedures. This strategic exploitation of our Nation’s humanitarian programs undermines our Nation’s security and sovereignty. The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process.
Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to manage our humanitarian immigration programs in a safe, orderly manner that provides access to relief or protection from removal from the United States for aliens who qualify, and that promptly denies benefits to and facilitates the removal of those who do not.
Sec. 3. Further Steps to Enhance the Integrity and Efficiency of the Existing Asylum System. Within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, as applicable, shall take all appropriate actions to:
(a) propose regulations to ensure that aliens who receive positive fear determinations pursuant to section 235(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)) or section 2242 of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (8 U.S.C. 1231 note) are placed in proceedings conducted under 8 CFR 208.2(c)(1) and 1208.2(c)(1) or, if not eligible for asylum, are placed in proceedings conducted under 8 CFR 208.2(c)(2) and 1208.2(c)(2);
(b) propose regulations to ensure that, absent exceptional circumstances, all asylum applications adjudicated in immigration court proceedings receive final administrative adjudication, not including administrative appeal, within 180 days of filing, in accordance with section 208(d)(5)(A)(iii) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(d)(5)(A)(iii));
(c) propose regulations setting a fee for an asylum application not to exceed the costs of adjudicating the application, as authorized by section 208(d)(3) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(d)(3)) and other applicable statutes, and setting a fee for an initial application for employment authorization for the period an asylum claim is pending; and
(d) propose regulations under section 208(d)(2) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(d)(2)) and other applicable statutes to bar aliens who have entered or attempted to enter the United States unlawfully from receiving employment authorization before any applicable application for relief or protection from removal has been granted, and to ensure immediate revocation of employment authorization for aliens who are denied asylum or become subject to a final order of removal.
Sec. 4. Allocation of Immigration Officers. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall reprioritize the assignment of immigration officers and any other employees of the Department as the Secretary deems necessary and appropriate to improve the integrity of adjudications of credible and reasonable fear claims, to strengthen the enforcement of the immigration laws, and to ensure compliance with the law by those aliens who have final orders of removal.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2019
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS WORKING TO STOP THE ABUSE OF OUR ASYLUM SYSTEM AND ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF THE BORDER CRISIS
“The biggest loophole drawing illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or meritless asylum claims to gain entry into our great country.” – President Donald J. Trump
PROTECTING OUR ASYLUM SYSTEM: President Donald J. Trump is protecting the integrity of our asylum system and responding to the humanitarian and security crisis at our border.
- President Trump has signed a Presidential Memorandum to ensure legitimate asylum-seekers can access asylum while more efficiently processing and removing illegal migrants who are not eligible and who do not qualify.
- The President is directing his Administration to propose regulations to:
- Streamline the court proceedings for aliens who pass initial fear determinations.
- Adjudicate all asylum applications in immigration courts within 180 days of filing.
- Require fees for asylum applications and work permit applications.
- Bar aliens who have entered or attempted to enter the country illegally from receiving provisional work permits prior to being approved for relief.
- Immediately revoke the work authorization of aliens who receive final removal orders.
- The President is directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to reprioritize the assignment of immigration officers to improve the integrity of credible fear adjudications, strengthen law enforcement, and enforce removal orders from immigration judges.
THE ASYLUM LOOPHOLE: Migrants are flooding to our border to use asylum to gain entry into our country and remain here indefinitely.
- Our immigration system has reached a breaking point as we continue to see an overwhelming surge of migrants, with more than 100,000 arriving at our border in March alone.
- As a result of loopholes in United States immigration law, migrants claiming fear are often released into communities across the United States, where they often remain indefinitely.
- In order to remain in the country, they often fail to show up to court hearings, fail to file an asylum application, or fail to comply with removal orders once their claims have been denied.
REDUCING ASYLUM FRAUD: Illegal migrants with meritless claims have used our asylum system to enter our country illegally and remain here indefinitely.
- On average, out of every 100 aliens subject to expedited removal who claim a fear of persecution, only about 12 will ultimately be granted asylum.
- Around half of all aliens who make a credible fear claim and are subsequently placed in removal proceedings do not actually apply for asylum.
- The number of aliens who do not show up to court and are ordered removed in absentia has soared, with 17,200 removal orders issued in absentia in the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2019.
- If this pace continues, in absentia removal orders would more than triple the 2013 total.
- For cases originating in a credible fear claim, in absentia removal orders are on pace to increase to 17,636 in FY 2019, around 20 times more than the total in FY 2010.
- From FY 2014 to FY 2018, roughly half of removal orders issued for Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) were issued in absentia.
- Since September 2018, 1 out of every 6 family unit cases filed on special expedited dockets at 10 immigration courts has ended with an in absentia removal order.
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