A federal district court judge in Maryland has ruled that new DHS asylum rules which make it difficult or impossible for asylum seekers to obtain badly needed work permits by imposing long waiting periods are illegal. The judge, Paula Xinis, also ruled that Acting DHS Secretary, Chad Wolf, who issued the rules, is most likely serving in his post illegally See, The Hill, September 14:


One of the new DHS rules that was challenged by the attorney generals of New York and 19 other states would have imposed a one year waiting period before an asylum applicant could file for a work permit. The other rule would have eliminated a requirement that asylum work permit applications be processed within 30 days.

In a 69-page decision granting the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction against enforcing the new rules in the lawsuit, Casa de Maryland v. Chad Wolf, Judge Xinis ruled that, DHS had failed to give consideration as required by law to the financial hardship that bona fide asylum seekers would suffer as a result of the long waiting period to receive work authorization under the new rules.

However, on reading the statement of background facts in her decision, it is obvious that DHS did in fact consider this factor and that the sole purpose of the new rules was to discourage people from applying for asylum by forcing them to undergo the hardship of a long delay in receiving work permits.

This is one more example of the Trump administration's policy of rewriting the nation's immigration laws through executive action without the consent of Congress in order to make most, if not all forms of legal immigration impossible.

This also shows the hypocrisy of the Trump administration's claim that its persecution of nonwhite immigrants is only a matter of "enforcing the laws of this country" against "illegal immigration".

Rule changes such as this are not "enforcing" the immigration laws. They are subverting them and setting Donald Trump up as a dictator over America's legal immigration system, in order to destroy that system

This is not the first time that the Trump administration has sought to use executive power to rewrite the nation's immigration laws on its own in order to destroy our legal immigration system. without going through Congress as required by the Constitution. For another recent example, one can look at Stephen Miller's wildly expanded version of the Public Charge rule (which has its own long history of being used as a tool for racial bigotry - for example against Jewish refugees trying to escape the Holocaust in the 1930's and early 1940's). The Trump administration's attempt to put an end to most legal family immigration though this rule has also been blocked by the federal courts, at least for now.

But there is also a larger issue - Trump is clearly using his dictatorship over the legal immigration system as a template for a wider dictatorship - over all of American society - -as shown in his attempt to subvert the coming presidential election and, even more dangerously, his refusal to commit to abide by the results if he loses.

The threat of a Trump dictatorship may begin with his authoritarian attempts to put an end to nonwhite legal immigration. But the threat to our democracy doesn't end there.

Roger Algase
Attorney at law