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‘Simply barbaric’: Trump administration proposes charging asylum fee for refugees fleeing violence and poverty

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“It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees.”

The Trump administration this coming week will formalize a proposal that could make it one of just four countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers for entry.

As the New York Times reported late Friday, the administration plans to publish in the Federal Register a proposal to require a $50 application fee for asylum-seekers as well as a $490 charge for work permits.

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“It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees,” Doug Rand of the immigrant assistance company Boundless Immigration told the Times.

Currently, the only countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers—who are often fleeing war, persecution, or violence in their home countries—are Iran, Fiji, and Australia.

Also included in the plan, proposed on Friday by Ken Cuccinnelli, head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), were significant increases in fees for renewal of DACA protections and citizenship.

Young people protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is the subject of a Supreme Court case beginning Tuesday, will be required to pay $765 for renewal rather than $495.

Citizenship fees could go up 60 percent, from $725 to $1,170.

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Cuccinnelli claimed Friday that the charges are needed to help confront his agencies $1.3 billion deficit. By contrast, the total U.S. deficit approached $1 trillion in 2019 under President Donald Trump—yet the president has requested more spending on the military and his proposed border wall.

The immigrant rights group United We Dream denounced the plan to impose financial burdens of young undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers as “outrageous.”

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“Charging an asylum application fee is simply barbaric,” added Daniel Altschuler of Make the Road Action.

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Matthew Soerens of the faith-based refugee aid group tweeted that if Cuccinnelli’s proposal goes into effect, the fee for U.S. citizenship will have gone up by more than $1,000 in two decades.

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The newly proposed fee “will actually be even more than $1,170, presuming that does not include a required biometrics fee,” Soerens added. “And none of these prices include paying an attorney, which can be thousands of dollars in some cases.”

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The worst may be yet to come as America finally wakes up to Trump’s incompetence and cruelty

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Since Election Day 2016, America has been in a state of mourning.

Donald Trump's Independence Day speeches offered more of the almost never-ending funeral ceremonies for America's democracy, dignity and decency. Instead of trumpet-like exhortations to American greatness and goodness on the country's birthday, Trump chose to deliver horribly off-key funeral dirges.

This article was originally published at Salon

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‘I hear from psychiatrists weekly’ who warn about the president’s ‘mental incapacity’: Trump biographer

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Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio told CNN on Friday that he's been in regular contact with professional psychiatrists who believe President Donald Trump lacks the mental capabilities to handle his job.

During a panel discussion about the president's mental health, D'Antonio spilled the beans about what some experts are telling him they see in the president's behavior and speech patterns.

"I hear from psychiatrists on a weekly basis about a different measure of the president, and that's whether he suffers from mental incapacity," D'Antonio explained. "That's a very different category and goes to whether he can perform his job."

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Trump’s superpower is distraction — but we finally found his kryptonite

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Donald Trump is dumb — so dumb he literally suggested on live television that scientists should explore injecting household cleaners into people's lungs to cure the coronavirus. But due to what appears to be a serious and undiagnosed personality disorder — his niece Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, suggests it's likely narcissism or sociopathy — Trump managed to stumble backwards into a strategy that works well with the 24-hour cable news ecosystem of national politics. Actually, "strategy" may be too strong a word, but it's inarguable that Trump's short attention span, impulsive nature and all-consuming corruption have meant a constant deluge of scandals and outrages, with each one knocking the last one out of the headlines.

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