Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Here it is the announcement (and here). The Biden administration describes the proposal in a nutshell as follows:
"In a key step toward implementing the Administration’s blueprint for a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend current regulations to improve the processing of asylum claims. The proposed rule would allow, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers to hear and decide applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture (CAT) protection for individuals who receive a positive credible fear determination. These cases are currently assigned to immigration judges within DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review."
Hamed Aleaziz for BuzzFeed News explains the proposal and its implications.
What do ImmigrationProf readers think? Here are some quick responses:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Gordon, 617-651-0841
Aug. 18, 2021
Proposed Asylum Changes a Positive Step
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have proposed a new rule that would significantly change the asylum process at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The proposed changes would allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers to adjudicate the asylum applications of some recent border-crossers, alleviating the immigration court case backlog and lessening the wait time for families to have their cases heard. Allowing USCIS to handle more of the asylum process is a change the Forum has called for repeatedly to help address increases in migration at our southern border and lessen the burden on our overwhelmed immigration courts.
However, under the current proposal, the new procedure would only apply to asylum-seekers placed in expedited removal proceedings, which have in the past raised concerns around due process and whether individuals have been given adequate preparation time before making their case.
The proposal now enters a 60-day public comment period, giving advocates and others an opportunity to provide feedback on the rule.
"Our asylum system needs improvement. This rule would be a positive step toward establishing a more efficient and humane system for migrants arriving at our borders," said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. "As it moves to make much-needed changes to the asylum process, the administration should continue working with advocates and other stakeholders to ensure a fully functional, fair, and secure asylum system for all those seeking protection."
August 18, 2021
Dear Kevin R.,
Today, the Biden administration unveiled a proposed rule that would represent a fundamental reform of the U.S. asylum system, which is struggling to cope with rising requests from asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.
As my colleague Doris Meissner notes in a new commentary: “Today’s asylum system is failing both by undermining U.S. obligations in domestic and international law to protect those fleeing from persecution and by undermining the ability to ensure orderly and predictable control of entries at the border.”
The proposed rule would shift asylum decisions in border cases from the immigration courts, where huge backlogs can mean waits of several years for a decision, to asylum officers who are specially trained to decide protection claims. While this appears to be a technical processing change, at base the plan would help preserve asylum as a bedrock element of the U.S. immigration system while also recognizing that a credible immigration system requires both deterring unlawful entry and ensuring the right to seek humanitarian protection.
The administration’s announcement today owes its origins to policy recommendations that Doris and co-authors made in a seminal 2018 report. We at MPI are committed to advancing policy solutions that can ensure fairness, efficiency, and consistency in the U.S. immigration system.
The commentary is available here: www.migrationpolicy.org/news/biden-asylum-processing-proposed-rule.
With best regards,
Migration Policy Institute
Why am I so torn?