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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Trump administration is planning to allow immigration officials to take as long as needed to approve work permits for asylum seekers by throwing out the current 30-day processing deadline, according to the proposed regulation released on Friday.

Why it matters: The rule could prevent some asylum seekers, awaiting a decision on their asylum claims in the U.S., from legally working for a long period of time. They are already forced to wait 180 days before they are eligible for a work permit. Asylum cases often take years due to immigration court backlogs.

While work permit processing delays have long been an issue, "under this administration, it's more excuse to not worry about processing faster," said America's Voice's Ur Jaddou.

“This proposal allows us to conduct the kind of systematic vetting and identity verification procedures expected of an agency charged with protecting national security,"
— USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli in a statement

What to watch: Immigration advocates and lawyers expect the Trump administration to roll out another regulation that would block asylum seekers who cross into the U.S. illegally — rather than at legal ports of entry — from qualifying for work permits, as Buzzfeed's Hamed Aleaziz Buzzfeed's Hamed Aleaziz reported.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.