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Tipsheet

DHS and DOJ Issues New Rule to 'Efficiently and Fairly Process Asylum Claims'

AP Photo/Eric Gay

The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice announced in a joint statement on Thursday they are implementing a new rule in an attempt to cut down on the years-long wait times asylum seekers face due to the large volume of cases.

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The statement explained the rule authorizes asylum officers within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to "consider the asylum applications of individuals subject to expedited removal who assert a fear of persecution or torture and pass the required credible fear screening. Currently, such cases are decided only by immigration judges within the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review."

"The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair," said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas."Through this rule, we are building a more functional and sensible asylum system to ensure that individuals who are eligible will receive protection more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be rapidly removed. We will process claims for asylum or other humanitarian protection in a timely and efficient manner while ensuring due process."

"Under the rule, individuals who receive a positive credible fear determination will receive a timely interview with an asylum officer to elicit all relevant and useful information about their asylum claim. Following an interview, USCIS will decide whether to grant asylum, and, if necessary, determine the applicant’s eligibility for withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

"Any individual who is not granted asylum by USCIS will be referred for a removal proceeding before an immigration judge. The rule establishes streamlined procedures for these removal proceedings, designed to promote efficient resolution of the case."

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The asylum process, which was experiencing massive caseloads, has been further bogged down by the hundreds of thousands of people who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during the ongoing crisis. The Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as "Remain in Mexico," was not being implemented during the first year of Joe Biden's presidency. Only after a federal court ordered the Biden adminstration to follow the policy did DHS start processing asylum seekers to wait back in Mexico but it has been slow rolled as the Biden adminstration insists they will continue to find ways to not execute MPP.

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