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On April 29, 2019, the Trump administration launched another cruel attack on asylum seekers.  In a new Presidential Memorandum, the administration ordered the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to issue regulations to accomplish the following:

  1. To place asylum seekers who receive positive credible fear determinations in asylum-only proceedings, which would prevent them from seeking other relief from removal besides asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture;
  2. To ensure asylum applications adjudicated in immigration court are completed within 180 days of filing;
  3. To establish a fee for filing for asylum and for filing an initial application for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application, both of which do not currently require a fee;
  4. To bar asylum seekers from receiving employment authorization before relief has been granted if they have entered or attempted to enter the United States without authorization and to immediately revoke employment authorization for individuals who have a final order of removal.

Please note that although proposed regulations are expected, they have not yet been issued and none of the changes referenced in the memorandum are currently in effect.  NIJC’s litigation, policy, and direct representation programs are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with other organization and members of Congress to respond.  NIJC’s statement regarding the memorandum can be found here

NIJC pro bono attorneys who have represented asylum seekers know first-hand the trauma and violence that caused their clients to flee to the United States and the terrible impact these changes would have on their clients and their clients’ families. As members of prominent U.S. law firms, NIJC’s pro bono attorneys are positioned to be powerful advocates against these changes. You can join our efforts to oppose these policies by sharing your and your clients’ stories. To get involved, contact NIJC's Pro Bono Manager Ellen Miller.