JILL COLVIN

President Donald Trump is proposing charging asylum-seekers a fee to process their applications as he continues to try to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross into the U.S.

In a presidential memorandum signed Monday, Trump directed his attorney general and acting homeland security secretary to take additional measures to overhaul the asylum system, which he insists “is in crisis” and plagued by “rampant abuse.”

The changes are just the latest in a series of proposals from an administration that is struggling to cope with a surge of migrant families arriving at the southern border that has overwhelmed federal resources and complicated Trump’s efforts to claim victory at the border as he runs for re-election. Most of those arriving say they are fleeing violence and poverty and many request asylum under U.S. and international law.

As part of the memo, Trump is giving officials 90 days to come up with new regulations to ensure that applications are adjudicated within 180 days of filing, except under exceptional circumstances.

And he is directing officials to begin charging a fee to process asylum and employment authorization applications — which do not currently require payment.

The White House and DHS officials did not immediately respond to questions about how much applicants might be forced to pay, and it is unclear how many families fleeing poverty would be able to afford such a payment.

The memo says the price would not exceed the cost of processing applications, but officials did not immediately provide an estimate for what that might be.

Trump also wants to bar anyone who has entered or tried to enter the country illegally from receiving a provisional work permit and is calling on officials to immediately revoke work authorizations when individuals are denied asylum and ordered removed from the country.

He is also calling on Homeland Security to reassign immigration officers and any other staff “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.”

Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months, with border agents making more than 100,000 arrests or denials of entry in March, a 12-year high.

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Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump is proposing charging asylum-seekers a fee to process their applications as he continues to crack down on the surge of migrants crossing into the U.S.

In a presidential memorandum signed Monday, Trump is directing his attorney general and acting homeland security secretary to take additional measures to overhaul the asylum system, which he insists is “in crisis.”

He’s giving them 90 days to propose regulations so that, all asylum applications are adjudicated within 180 days, except for those representing exceptional circumstances.

Trump also wants to charge asylum-seekers to process their asylum and employment authorization applications. And he wants to bar anyone who has entered or tried to enter the country illegally from receiving authorization that allows them to work.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump was poised to issue the first veto of his presidency Friday afternoon, after a bipartisan rebuke of the national emergency he declared to circumvent Congress and fund his long-stalled southern border wall.

A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats on the joint resolution Thursday, which capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways. And Trump made clear how he planned to respond, tweeting the word "VETO!" in all caps just moments after the vote.

Trump will issue the veto at a ceremony in the Oval Office at 3:30 p.m., flanked by law enforcement as well as the parents of children killed by people in the country illegally, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

Gidley said it marks "a sad moment and a very important moment" for the country, and alleged the vote against the president was also a vote "against the America people and their safety and security."

The 59-41 tally on Thursday, and the Senate’s vote a day earlier to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, promised to force Trump into the first vetoes of his presidency as he faces a now-divided Congress. The House is planning a vote to override the expected veto on the national emergency, which is likely to occur on March 26 following next week’s recess. But it is unlikely that Congress will have the votes to override it.

Two years into the Trump era, a dozen Republicans, pushed along by Democrats, showed a willingness to take the political risk of defecting. The 12 GOP senators, including the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney of Utah, joined the dissent over the emergency declaration order that would enable the president to seize for the wall billions of dollars Congress intended to be spent elsewhere.

"The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who said the chamber had become "a little lazy" as an equal branch of government. "I think the value of these last few weeks is to remind the Senate of our constitutional place."

Many senators said the vote was not necessarily a rejection of the president or the wall, but protections against future presidents — namely a Democrat who might want to declare an emergency on climate change, gun control or any number of other issues.

"This is constitutional question, it’s a question about the balance of power that is core to our constitution," Romney said. "This is not about the president."

Thursday’s vote was the first direct challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act, just as Wednesday’s on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an end to U.S. backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the aftermath of the kingdom’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Even without the numbers needed to override a veto, the twin votes nevertheless sent a message from Capitol Hill.

"Today’s votes cap a week of something the American people haven’t seen enough of in the last two years," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, "both parties in the United States Congress standing up to Donald Trump."

The result is a role-reversal for Republicans who have been reluctant to take on Trump, bracing against his high-profile tweets and public attacks of reprimand. But now they are facing challenges from voters — in some states where senators face stiff elections — who are expecting more from Congress.

Centrist Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who’s among those most vulnerable in 2020, said she’s sure the president "will not be happy with my vote. But I’m a United States senator and I feel my job is to stand up for the Constitution, so let the chips fall where they may."

Trump’s grip on the party, though, remains strong and the White House made it clear that Republicans resisting Trump could face political consequences. Ahead of the voting, Trump framed the issue as with-him-or-against-him on border security, a powerful argument with many.

"A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!" Trump tweeted. "Don’t vote with Pelosi!" he said in another, referring to the speaker of the House.

A White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who oppose him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump brought on the challenge months ago when he all but dared Congress not to give him the $5.7 billion he was demanding to build the U.S.-Mexico wall, threatening a federal government shutdown.

Congress declined and the result was the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Against the advice of GOP leaders, Trump invoked the national emergency declaration last month, allowing him to try to tap about $3.6 billion for the wall by shuffling money from military projects, and that drew outrage from many lawmakers. Trump had campaigned for president promising Mexico would pay for the wall.

The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, and lawmakers seethed as they worried about losing money for military projects that had already been approved for bases at home and abroad. The Democratic-led House swiftly voted to terminate Trump’s order.

Senate Republicans spent weeks trying to avoid this outcome, up until the night before the vote, in a script that was familiar — up until the gavel.

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Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller, Padmananda Rama and Andrew Taylor in Washington and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed.

Source: Fox News National

Trump administration officials are grappling with the question of whether to offer new deportation protections to tens of thousands of Venezuelans in the U.S. amid ongoing unrest in their country.

Officials are hoping the situation in Venezuela will improve enough to avoid having to decide whether to grant Temporary Protected Status or other protections to more than 70,000 Venezuelans in the U.S.

Some officials at the White House and Department of Homeland Security oppose such a move because it would conflict with the administration’s hard-line immigration policies. Those policies are expected to be a key theme in President Donald Trump’s re-election bid.

Seven people familiar with the private discussions described them to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Source: Fox News National


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