Court strikes down Trump-era rules that restricted work permits to asylees

At the time, the two rules caused uncertainty for asylum seekers.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

a district court annulled two rules approved in the Donald Trump government that affected work permits for immigrants who apply for asylum.

One of these rules limited the valuable immigration benefit and another that eliminated it in certain caseswere announced in 2019 and activated in 2020.

They were approved by then Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, one of the regulations eliminated the 30-day period to manage the delivery of an Employment Authorization (EAD) to asylees.

The other canceled the 150-day deadline after the asylum request to submit a work permit application.

The two rules caused uncertainty for thousands of asylum seekers who from that moment began to wait months to receive their work permits.

Also, the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) argued that by that time the changes and that it would take the time required to receive, examine and process applicationswhich will strengthen national security as a result, and will follow technological advances in identity verification.

The ruling, issued by Judge Beryl A. Howell, of the District of Columbia Court, ruled that the Trump administration had not respected the DHS secretary's line of successionfollowing Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation, appointed to replace Kevin McAleenan.

McAleenan later altered the order of succession so that other officials succeeded him after he resigned from the post.

In August of last year, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), determined that the appointments after the secretary and deputy secretary of the DHS, Chad Wolf and Kenneth Cuccinelli, respectively, were invalidated because they were made improperly.

The court said Wolf had no authority and to issue or modify regulationssuch as the case of the policies that eliminated the deadlines for granting work permits to immigrants who request asylum.

The judge Howell further rejected the argument of the administration of President Joe Biden that a previous DHS secretary had delegated regulatory authority to other officials.

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