Recently, the Department of Homeland Security along with the Department of Justice published a proposed rule aimed, in part, at speeding up the processing of asylum claims by individuals encountered at or near the southern border.
Currently, individuals seeking asylum who enter the U.S. and are subject to expedited removal (a process whereby immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens) will have an interview with an asylum officer to determine whether they have a credible fear of persecution. If they pass this “credible fear interview,” their case is referred to the immigration courts. But with a backlog of over a million pending cases, it can take years before the individual can present their case to an immigration judge.
Under the new proposed policy, asylum-seekers who are placed in expedited removal proceedings and pass the credible fear interview will initially have their cases heard by asylum officers, rather than immigration judges, after passing the credible fear interview.
Top officials from the government say that this proposed process would result in processes that are fairer and more efficient than current systems.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, remarked that “[t]hese proposed changes will significantly improve DHS’s and DOJ’s ability to more promptly and efficiently consider the asylum claims of individuals encountered at or near the border, while ensuring fundamental fairness. Individuals who are eligible will receive relief more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be expeditiously removed. We are building an immigration system that is designed to ensure due process, respect human dignity, and promote equity.”
Anyone may submit a comment on this proposed plan prior before October 19, 2021.
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