Efforts to streamline the procedure for immigrants seeking asylum in the United States have been completed by the Biden administration, which hopes to alleviate some of the strain on the overburdened immigration courts.
Rather than being heard by immigration judges, those seeking refuge would now go before asylum officers under the new policy, which administration officials say will be released soon.
It is hoped that the entire procedure will take six months rather than the current average of five years, according to officials in the government.
Biden promised to restore humanity to the asylum system after four years of Trump-imposed restrictions. Asylum reform has long been a priority, even before the Obama administration came to power, with more than 670,000 cases waiting at the end of February.
Border Agents are Scrambling to Control a Record Number
At a time when border agents are scrambling to control a record number of migrants crossing the southwest border, the new rule is vital. Undocumented migrants, many of whom want to seek asylum, are being let into the United States.
More than 5,000 people voiced their opinions after the rule was first floated in August. Many pro-immigration activists were concerned that migrants would be rushed through the procedure and would be denied due process as a result.
An immigration judge will reconsider the case if the migrant fails the credible fear interview.
An immigration court will be automatically summoned to the case if the migrant fails to secure asylum following a more in-depth questioning, which some conservatives think may delay deportation of illegal immigrants.
Those who have been placed in the “expedited removal” processing lane, which allows immigration officials to deport people without a hearing or a lawyer in some cases, will be able to use the new asylum application system.
Border officers question migrants if they are afraid to return to their home countries during the expedited removal process. Asylum officers schedule “credible fear” interviews for migrants who claim they are afraid to return.
Awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, migrants who passed the “credible fear” interview have until now joined the thousands of others who had been waiting years.
In contrast to coming before a judge and confronting government prosecutors, migrants who pass the initial screening will instead present their case to an asylum officer, a procedure that is deemed far less confrontational.
.There are still questions about the expedited removal process, which some immigration advocates argue is faulty since it allows border agents to issue removal orders in situations where a migrant doesn’t request an interview with an immigration court.
According to Human Rights
According to Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer, “Although first asylum office interviews are more humanitarian and efficient, this change should not be based on the fundamentally flawed and due-process-deficient accelerated removal system,” she added.
The new regulation will take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. New comments would be accepted, according to the management at the time.
Potential asylum seekers must now contend with an additional obstacle: a public health order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of a pandemic, which empowers border officials to deport migrants and deny them the opportunity to seek asylum in the country they fled.
Mr. Mayorkas recently stated that this will be the approach as long as the public health rule is in force.