Trump Issues “Enhanced Border Security Memo”



Written by: Rami D. Fakhoury / Managing Director / Fakhoury Global Immigration

On April 29, 2019, President Trump issued a memorandum to the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security titled, “Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System.” This is a follow-up measure to the president’s Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019 that declared a national emergency to address the security and humanitarian crisis at the U.S.’s southern border. The memo authorizes that further steps be proposed to enhance the integrity and the efficiency of the existing asylum system.

Specifically, it tasks the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to propose new regulations that 1). ensure that aliens who receive positive fear determinations are placed in proceedings conducted the applicable statutes for asylum applications or, if not eligible for asylum, are placed in proceedings conducted under the appropriate statutes for withholding of removal applications; 2). ensure that, absent exceptional circumstances, all applications for asylum that are adjudicated in immigration final administrative adjudication within 180 days of filing (not including administrative appeal); 3). that set a fee for an asylum application not to exceed the costs of adjudicating the applications; and 4). that bar aliens who have attempted to enter, or have entered the U.S. unlawfully from receiving employment authorization before an applicable application for relief or protection from removal has been granted, and that ensure immediate revocation of employment authorization for those aliens who are denied asylum or become subject to a final order of removal.

Finally, the memorandum tasks the Secretary of Homeland Security with reprioritizing the assignment of immigration officers and any other DHS employees that the Secretary deems necessary in order to improve the integrity of credible and reasonable fear claim adjudications, to bolster immigration law enforcement, and to ensure that aliens who have final orders of removal comply with the law.