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Planned Proposal to Charge Fee for Asylum Applications

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News on Tuesday reports that the Trump Administration is considering charging a fee of $50 to asylum applications submitted while the applicant is already residing in the United States. Stated in the proposal, this fee would not apply to those who claim a fear of persecution at a port of entry or whose who apply for protections while in removal proceedings. Unlike most of USCIS applications, Form I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and all other humanitarian applications, is free. Biometrics and the first Employment Authorization Documents, which would cost $85 and $410 respectively for other applications, are also free. USCIS only charges the first renewal of the work permit after the first one has expired after 2 years.

This proposed regulation, if instituted, comes after a long line of changes in the asylum and humanitarian process pushed by this administration, who have often claimed that the system is being abused by bogus claims. Since President Trump’s inauguration, humanitarian visas such as temporary protected status has been terminated for NepalHaiti, El SalvadorNicaragua and Sudan nationals, ending protected status for more than 425,000 people and leaving less than 80,000 people in the program. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been repeated targeted and appealed. Domestic violence victims are no longer eligible for apply for asylum, are just some of the recent changes. Although the $50 will mostly be symbolic, charging a fee for this application would imply that asylum and protection status are a benefit that individuals can apply for, just like an E-2 or EB-5 visa,. This proposal has not been instituted yet, at this time Form I-589 applications are still free.

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