April 30 (UPI) — President Donald Trump directed immigration officials to apply new strict regulations on migrants attempting to enter the United States via the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a memorandum for Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Homeland Security, Trump gave them 90 days to implement measures to ensure that all asylum seekers are processed within 180 days of filing, institute a fee for asylum applications and for employment permits and prohibit migrants who have previously entered or attempted to enter the United States illegally from gaining employment permits before any application for relief or protection from removal has been granted.
“The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process,” Trump said in the memo.
Trump said since he declared a national emergency at the U.S southern border on Feb. 15, the humanitarian crisis there has only worsened.
“The emergency continues to grow increasingly severe,” he said in the memo. “In March, more than 100,000 inadmissible aliens were encountered seeking entry into the United States.”
He said illicit organizations such as drug cartels and smugglers benefit financially from smuggling migrants into the country, and their actions further encourage abuse of the system.
“This strategic exploitation of our nation’s humanitarian programs undermines our nation’s security and sovereignty,” he said.
It is the second memorandum from Trump in as many weeks, as on April 22 he directed secretaries of state and Homeland Security to find ways to limit visa overstays, the Washington Post reported.
Trump’s Monday memo follows Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan earlier in the day approving to send an additional 320 military troops to the U.S-Mexico border.