- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Homeland Security proposed a new policy Wednesday to delay issuing work permits to asylum seekers until after their cases are approved, in a move aimed at trying to end the incentive that is drawing hundreds of thousands of bogus refugees to the U.S. border.

The rule, proposed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, would also make work permits expire if their cases fail.

And those who miss asylum case deadlines could be deemed to have given up their cases, USCIS said, giving officers a way to clear their books of cases that migrants don’t seem interested in actually pursuing.

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“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,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director at USCIS.

He said the new proposal makes good on President Trump’s April memo calling for stricter standards for those who try to use America’s humanitarian protections.

The proposal will be published Thursday, and the public has until Jan. 13 to file comments.

Asylum seekers are those who reach U.S. soil and ask for protection from persecution. Refugees are those who make requests from outside the U.S.

The administration has slashed the number of refugees it accepts, and shifted resources to deal with the massive surge of asylum cases filed at the border.

Authorities say most of those cases turn out to be bogus. Fewer than one in five asylum seekers from key Central American countries will be successful — yet under current policy, even those whose cases eventually turn out to be bad can still get work permits while they wait for a final decision.

Given the backlog in cases, that can mean years of legal ability to work.

Mr. Cuccinelli said that serves as an incentive for more bogus claims — something smuggling cartels use as a selling point when they try to win new customers to make the trip north. 

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