DOJ establishes rule to hasten asylum process for illegal immigrants subject to expedited removal

The new rule, according to DOJ, is meant to ensure "that those who are eligible for asylum are granted relief quickly, and those who are not are promptly removed."

Updated: March 24, 2022 - 11:56am

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The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security on Thursday issued a rule to improve and hasten the asylum- seeking process by illegal immigrants who are subject to expedited removal from the country. 

The new rule, according to a release from DOJ, will ensure "that those who are eligible for asylum are granted relief quickly, and those who are not are promptly removed." 

Asylum officers who are part of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now be granted the authority to consider the applications of individuals subject to expedited removal who say they are fearful of persecution or torture and pass the "required credible fear screening." At present, such cases are decided exclusively by immigration judges with DOJ.

Those who pass the fear screening will then receive an interview with an asylum officer, after which it will be decided whether the individual should be granted asylum. If an individual is not granted asylum, he or she will be referred for a removal proceeding before an immigration judge. 

Because of extensive court backlogs, the process for hearing and deciding asylum cases currently takes, on average, several years. Once implemented, DOJ and DHS' new rule should reduce that timeline to several months for most applicants to whom the standard would apply. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the "rule advances our efforts to ensure that asylum claims are processed fairly, expeditiously, and consistent with due process. It will help reduce the burden on our immigration courts, protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence, and enable immigration judges to issue removal orders when appropriate. We look forward to receiving additional input from stakeholders and the public on this important rule."

 

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