Cuccinelli Aims to Slow Frivolous Asylum Claims by Delaying Work Permits

‘Illegal aliens are gaming our asylum system for economic opportunity…’

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Ken Cuccinelli/Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services introduced a proposed rule Wednesday that would discourage aliens from illegally migrating to the United States and from submitting frivolous or fraudulent asylum claims.

Aliens oftentimes submit “non-meritorous asylum applications in order to obtain employment authorization,” USCIS reported, but the new rule will prevent aliens from receiving employment authorization until after their asylum claims have been adjudicated.

USCIS will grant “limited exceptions.”

The proposed rule would also automatically terminate an applicant’s employment authorization if USCIS denies his or her asylum claim.

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“Our immigration system is in crisis,” said acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli.

“Illegal aliens are gaming our asylum system for economic opportunity, which undermines the integrity of our immigration system and delays relief for legitimate asylum seekers in need of humanitarian protection,” Cuccinelli said.

The proposed rule follows from President Donald Trump’s April 2019 directive, which clarified that the United States intends to “manage humanitarian immigration programs in a safe, orderly manner and to promptly deny benefits to those who do not qualify.”

The proposed rule creates additional safeguards to discourage frivilous and fraudulent asylum applications, including:

  • Reasserting USCIS’s right to dismiss asylum and employment authorization claims if the applicant does not appear at appointments.
  • Preventing aliens from obtaining employment authorization if they do not file a claim within one year of their arrival.
  • Rejecting employment authorization for aliens convicted of federal or state felonies, including “child abuse, domestic violence, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

“USCIS must take steps to address pull factors encouraging aliens to illegally enter the United States and exploit our asylum framework,” Cuccinelli said.

“These proposed reforms are designed to restore integrity to the asylum system and lessen the incentive to file an asylum application for the primary purpose of obtaining work authorization,” he added.