Trump mulling charging immigrants a fee for applying for asylum: report

The Trump administration is considering charging a fee for certain immigrants to apply for asylum in the U.S., BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday, citing sources close to the administration.

Under the proposal, it would cost immigrants already living in the U.S. $50 to apply for "affirmative asylum" protections, according to BuzzFeed.

The fee wouldn't apply to those claiming a fear of persecution while attempting to enter the country through a port of entry or those applying for protections amid deportation proceedings before an immigration judge.

BuzzFeed also reported that, under the current proposal, the administration wouldn't waive the $50 fee for people who can't afford to pay it.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS), which oversees the asylum application process, did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

BuzzFeed noted that UCIS is funded mostly funded by fees and is required to review its fees, revenues, costs and needs every two years under federal law. 

If implemented, the policy would be the latest effort by President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' MORE to restrict asylum and crack down on immigration.

Trump last month signed a proclamation to make people who cross the border between ports of entry ineligible for asylum, though that move faces legal challenges.

Trump has also railed against immigration more generally in recent weeks, threatening to close off the southern border as thousands of migrants have made their way through Mexico and toward the southern U.S. border.

Trump has claimed that those migrants, who are seeking asylum and say they are fleeing violence in Central America, are a national security threat.

– Updated Dec. 6 at 11:40 a.m.