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The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that, if implemented, would make asylum seekers ineligible for work permits if they entered the U.S. illegally.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency tasked with managing the country’s immigration system, is introducing new employment rules for migrants. Namely, the agency is aiming to bar work permits for asylum applicants who crossed the border illegally, and also applicants who have committed a felony or a number of misdemeanors, including driving under the influence.
The proposal is intended to force asylum seekers, who currently make up the bulk of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, to arrive in a legal port of entry instead of crossing the border illegally.
In addition to denying work authorization to illegal aliens and those with serious criminal records, USCIS is proposing to lengthen the time it takes for eligible applicants to secure a work permit. Currently, asylum applicants must wait roughly five months to become qualified and able to apply for a permit. The agency wishes to extend this five-month period to a year.
The chief of USCIS says the reforms are needed to stop asylum seekers from taking advantage of the U.S. immigration system.
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