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President Donald Trump has issued a memorandum saying that asylum seekers should pay a fee to have their applications processed in the latest move in his crackdown on migration.

The presidential memorandum, issued on April 29, called for a slew of new rules.

The president also wants to disqualify asylum seekers who enter the US illegally from obtaining temporary work permits.

Critics say that fees would put the process out of reach for many people.

In his memo, President Trump said the fee would not exceed the cost of processing the applications, but estimates have not yet been provided of what this may be.

The vast majority of countries do not charge asylum application fees.

Victoria Neilson, a former official at US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government agency that accepts asylum applications, told Reuters: “The majority of people coming to the United States seeking asylum are coming with little more than the shirts on their back.”

Under the current system, asylum seekers who enter the US both legally and illegally are allowed to work while their claims are processed.

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President Trump said regulations should be drawn up to ensure that asylum claims are adjudicated in immigration court within 180 days, except under exceptional circumstances.

While asylum cases are already meant to be finished within this timeframe, a backlog of more than 800,000 cases means that asylum claims can take years to be completed.

The orders given by President Trump to the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security mark a dramatic shift in US policy.

The president has given officials 90 days to come up with the new regulations.

The orders come amid Donald Trump’s efforts to stem the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross into the US.


Sweden’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman has said that his country may reject the asylum applications of up to 80,000 refugees and should prepare to deport them.

Anders Ygeman said charter aircraft would be used to deport the refugees but it would take several years.

Some 163,000 refugees applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, the highest per capita number in Europe.

The numbers have fallen significantly since Sweden imposed tighter border controls in 2016.

Along with Germany, Sweden is a prime destination for refugees and other refugees entering the EU illegally.

Of the approximately 58,800 asylum cases processed in Sweden in 2015, 55% were accepted.

Of those facing expulsion, Anders Ygeman was quoted in Swedish media as saying: “We are talking about 60,000 people but the number could climb to 80,000.”Refugees in Sweden

He later tweeted to say he had not taken a position on how many refugees had grounds for asylum, it being a matter for the authorities and the courts.

Sweden earlier this week became the latest of a number of European nations to see tensions over migrants heightened by violence. A 15-year-old asylum seeker was arrested in Molndal, near Gothenburg, after a 22-year-old asylum centre employee was stabbed to death.

More than one million refugees and migrants travelled to Europe in 2015, most fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The UN says another 46,000 people have arrived in Greece so far this year, with more than 170 killed making the dangerous crossing from Turkey.

In the latest such accident, at least 11 migrants drowned – mostly children – after their boat capsized off the island of Samos, the Greek coast guard says. Several are still missing.

On January 27, a draft European Commission report said Greece “seriously neglected” its obligations to control the external frontier of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone.

Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili accused the Commission of “blame games” and said it had failed to act on a program agreed in 2015 to relocate tens of thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece.

Denmark has also faced criticism this week after approving legislation to seize the valuables of refugees in the hope of limiting the influx of migrants.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has threatened to close the US embassy in Bolivia after his official plane was banned from European airspace.

The warning came as four other South American leaders offered him support at a special summit on Thursday.

Evo Morales’ plane was forced to land in Austria on Tuesday after France, Portugal, Italy and Spain apparently barred it from flying through their airspace.

There were unfounded suspicions that US fugitive Edward Snowden was on board.

The Bolivian president blamed Washington for pressurizing European countries into refusing him passage.

“My hand would not tremble to close the US embassy,” President Evo Morales said.

“We have dignity, sovereignty. Without America, we are better off politically and democratically.”

His presidential jet was rerouted as he travelled from a meeting in Russia where he had suggested he would be willing to consider an asylum application from Edward Snowden.

Former CIA contractor Edward Snowden is believed to be holed up at the transit area of Moscow airport after leaking details of a vast US surveillance programme.

Evo Morales was joined by the presidents of Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Venezuela and Suriname at a meeting to discuss the plane dispute in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba on Thursday.

The leaders issued a statement after the meeting demanding an explanation from France, Portugal, Italy and Spain over their actions.

President Evo Morales has threatened to close the US embassy in Bolivia after his official plane was banned from European airspace

President Evo Morales has threatened to close the US embassy in Bolivia after his official plane was banned from European airspace

The US was not mentioned in the statement, but several of the leaders criticized the Americans in comments after the meeting.

“If this had happened to the president of the United States, it probably would have been grounds for war,” said Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.

“They think they can attack, crush, destroy international law.”

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said in a TV interview on Friday that Madrid had “no reason to apologize”.

He said airspace was never closed to Evo Morales’ plane, but that the delay in Austria meant the flight permit had expired and had to be renewed.

Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo also said in reference to Edward Snowden: “They told us he was inside [the plane].”

His comment is the first official recognition by the European states that the incident with Evo Morales’ plane was connected with the Snowden affair.

However, he did not say who had given the information to the Spanish authorities.

France earlier apologized for the plane incident, blaming it on “conflicting information”.

The US state department has not commented directly on the latest claims, saying only that Washington had “been in touch with a broad range of countries” over the Snowden case.

Demonstrators marched on the French embassy in La Paz on Wednesday, burning the French flag and demanding the expulsion of the ambassador to Bolivia.

Evo Morales’ plane took off from Vienna on Wednesday morning and arrived back in La Paz on Wednesday night.

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Ecuador officials say it could take months to rule on an asylum bid by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said it had taken Ecuador two months to grant asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The website has been lending legal support to Edward Snowden, who is in a transit zone at a Moscow airport.

A WikiLeaks tweet said the American was “well” and being accompanied by one of its legal advisers “at all times”.

The website has not further elaborated on Edward Snowden’s whereabouts.

Both WikiLeaks and Russia have denied reports that the Russian secret police have questioned the American.

Edward Snowden first fled to Hong Kong before flying to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday.

He was expected to board a flight to the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Monday but his seat remained vacant.

Edward Snowden, 30, has had his US passport revoked and applied for Ecuadorean asylum.

Ecuador officials say it could take months to rule on an asylum bid by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden

Ecuador officials say it could take months to rule on an asylum bid by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden

On Wednesday, Ricardo Patino compared the case to that of Julian Assange, who has been living inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London for more than a year.

Julian Assange walked into the embassy when his appeal against extradition to Sweden for questioning on accusations of sex crimes was turned down last June.

“It took us more than two months to make a decision in the case of Assange, so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time,” Ricardo Patino told reporters.

Ricardo Patino said Ecuador had not yet decided whether to offer protection to Edward Snowden in the meantime.

“If he goes to an embassy, then we will make a decision,” the foreign minister said.

Ecuador said it would consider the American’s application “responsibly” and would weigh “human rights obligations”.

It added that the US would have to submit its position in writing regarding Edward Snowden.

Venezuela has also said it will consider an asylum application from Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden’s case has caused a diplomatic spat, with the US accusing Russia and China of assisting the fugitive. Both nations have rejected the charges.

Russia earlier confirmed that Edward Snowden was still in a transit zone at the Moscow airport.

Although the country has no extradition treaty with the US, Washington said it wanted Moscow to extradite Edward Snowden without delay.

But Russia said that the American was technically not yet under its jurisdiction because he had not passed through immigration.

Meanwhile China described accusations that it allowed Edward Snowden to leave Hong Kong despite an arrest warrant as “groundless and unacceptable”.

The Chinese government has expressed deep concern about the leaker’s allegations that the US had hacked into networks in China.

Edward Snowden is wanted by the US for leaking highly sensitive information to the media about a secret government surveillance programme, which he obtained while working as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA).

He is charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence.

Edward Snowden’s leaks have led to revelations that the US is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data under an NSA programme known as Prism.

US officials have defended the practice of gathering telephone and internet data from private users around the world.

They say PRISM cannot be used to target intentionally any Americans or anyone in the US, and stress that it is supervised by judges.

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