The Trump administration is working to restrict work permits for asylum seekers who have entered the country illegally.
"Our immigration system is in crisis," United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli wrote in a statement Wednesday. "Illegal aliens are gaming our asylum system for economic opportunity, which undermines the integrity of our immigration system and delays relief for legitimate asylum seekers in need of humanitarian protection.
"USCIS must take steps to address pull factors encouraging aliens to illegally enter the United States and exploit our asylum framework. These proposed reforms are designed to restore integrity to the asylum system and lessen the incentive to file an asylum application for the primary purpose of obtaining work authorization."
Also included in the restriction will be asylum applications for those who have committed a felony or a number of misdemeanors, including driving under the influence.
As directed by the presidential memorandum, USCIS proposes to:
- Prevent aliens who entered the United States illegally from obtaining work authorization based on a pending asylum application, with limited exceptions.
- Automatically terminate employment authorization when an applicant's asylum denial is administratively final.
- Clarify that an asylum applicant's failure to appear for a required appointment may lead to dismissal of their asylum application and/or denial of their application for employment authorization.
- Prevent aliens who fail to file their asylum application within one year of their latest entry as required by law from obtaining work authorization.
- Render any alien who has been convicted in the United States of any federal or state felony, or convicted of certain public safety offenses involving child abuse, domestic violence, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, ineligible for employment authorization.
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