Asylum seekers in the midst of the health crisis
It is well known that the current President of the US, Donald Trump, does not fully agree with mass immigration, legal or illegal.
Therefore, some of the country’s immigration processes have been considerably modified under the current government and multiple immigrant communities have been tremendously affected by the changes recently implemented and by the global pandemic.
Political asylum is one of the branches of immigration most affected by the emergency measures implemented by the Trump administration during the health crisis.
Asylum seekers have strongly felt the arrival of the pandemic for several reasons.
Let’s see some of them:
- The Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) states that asylum seekers must remain in Mexico while waiting for a response to their immigration cases or until they have a hearing with a local judge. This policy is also known as “Remain in Mexico”.
They live in overcrowded temporary shelters, without food or medical supplies.
- Hearings for asylum requests were recently resumed after being suspended for more than two months due to the global health crisis.
Therefore, asylum applications are considerably delayed, making the waiting time even longer for immigrants fleeing danger and threat from their countries.
- On the southern borders of the US, there is a storm season that is threatening to evict hundreds of immigrants living in a temporary shelter.
In addition to that, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that as of October 2, 2020, asylum seekers will have to pay an application fee.
Do you need to submit a political asylum request? Motion Law Immigrantion is here to help you.
The US, one of the few countries that will now charge asylum seekers
The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is the DHS branch that handles the country’s immigration applications, including asylum requests.
Due to the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus, the USCIS is experiencing a downturn in revenue. Thus, it announced new changes and new rates for most applications.
In addition to the health crisis, the DHS has been evaluating the prices of immigration applications for more than eight months. The new rates will represent the support that USCIS needs to:
- Counteract the impact of the pandemic.
- Protect employee wages.
- Have enough funds to invest in infrastructure and materials.
Therefore, beginning in October, immigrants who want to apply for political asylum in the US will have to pay a mandatory fee of $50.
The US is now one of only four countries in the world that charges for asylum applications.
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