The Trump administration is considering charging immigrants a $50 fee to apply for asylum in the United States if they are already residing in the country, BuzzFeed News reports. The proposal is reportedly included in a “not-yet-finalized draft regulation,” and would not apply to those “who claim a fear of persecution at ports of entry or those who apply for the protections while in deportation proceedings.” There would reportedly be no waiver available for those who cannot afford the $50 fee. More than 300,000 asylum cases are currently pending, and over 100,000 people applied for asylum with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) last year. The reported plan has sparked outrage among immigration advocates who fear the planned fee will prevent those in genuine fear for their lives from seeking asylum. Most countries across the globe do not charge a fee to process asylum applications, and USCIS has not charged fees for “certain humanitarian applications” in the past. The news comes as President Trump has sought to prevent incoming migrants, like those from the Central American caravan, from approaching ports of entry to seek asylum, demanding they wait in Mexico instead.
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