New Work Permit Opportunity for Asylum Applicants
January 12th, 2021
We know that the last 4 years have been an enormous challenge for immigrants and their loved ones, and although the new year will bring a new administration that will likely be pro-immigrant, there is still a great deal of damage inflicted by the Trump Administration that needs to be undone. One of those damaging actions was the issuance of a regulation on August 25, 2020, that severely limited the ability of asylum applicants to obtain a work permit. For example, individuals who entered the United States without being inspected or admitted by an immigration agent could be barred from receiving a work permit. Additionally, the wait period to apply for a work permit was increased from 150 to 365 days.
This regulation is a heartless attack on asylum applicants, who need a work permit to be able to provide for themselves and their families in a dignified fashion. As more and more employers require proof of employment authorization from prospective employees, people who want to work find themselves with fewer and fewer options. It appears that the intent of this regulation was to place applicants for asylum in a desperate situation here in the U.S. to force them to abandon legitimate claims for asylum.
Fortunately, a lawsuit was successful in challenging the regulation. A federal judge in Maryland issued an injunction as a result of the lawsuit, finding that Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf does not have the authority to promulgate the regulation because he was not properly appointed. As a result of this injunction, members of the lawsuit – CASA de Maryland and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) – are protected from the regulation’s effects. Asylum applicants may choose to become members of these organizations to qualify for work authorization. Additionally, it is relatively simple and there is no cost to become a member of ASAP using the application located on its website.
As we wait for January 20th and the inauguration of President-Elect Biden, it is important to consider whether now is the time for you or your family member to explore any solution that may be available for their immigration status. The Boston immigration lawyers of Fitzgerald Law Company have been with you throughout the turbulent time of the Trump Administration, and remain here to assist as we enter what will hopefully be a time when humanity, decency, and compassion return to the government. For legal assistance with any immigration, criminal or personal injury case, please call: 617-303-2600 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Boston attorneys, or fill out our online appointment request form.