Wednesday, July 17, 2019
The Trump administration has implemented its strongest effort yet to curb asylum claims, but an internal memo shows that U.S. asylum officers weren't briefed until just hours before the sweeping immigration rule went into effect Tuesday.
The new policy bars most immigrants from a long-held practice of applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. People seeking asylum must instead apply for protections in countries they passed through on their way to the United States.
In the Monday night memo obtained by NPR, the head of asylum at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, John Lafferty, said asylum officers were "once again being asked to adapt, and to do so with very little time to train and prepare."
Lafferty went on to commend his staff at USCIS while noting the suddenness of the new rule. "If I didn't know that we have some of the most dedicated, most adaptable and most talented public servants presently serving in the federal government, I would be concerned about being able to implement these changes on such short notice," he said. Read more..