Tuesday, March 29, 2022

DHS Finalizes Plan to Take Over Border Asylum Cases; Biden Grants Asylum Officers (not to be confused with Border Patrol) the Ability to Decide Migrant Claims

AP Photo/Eugene Garcia
DHS finalizes plan to take over border asylum cases:
Homeland Security released a final regulation Thursday taking control of decisions in border asylum cases, in a move analysts said is likely to lead to faster — and more — approvals.
The cases had been handled by immigration judges at the Justice Department, but under the new policy, they will shift to asylum officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Immigrant-rights advocates have complained that the judges were too strict, and they hope for more leniency from USCIS.
“The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The new policy, announced in a 512-page interim final rule, also erases some of the limits on asylum claims put in place by the Trump administration from 2018 to 2020 but had gotten snared in court challenges.
The new rule is a critical part of the Biden administration‘s plans to revamp how illegal immigrants’ claims at the border are handled.
Biden officials had said they want those overhauls in place to prepare for an expected surge of illegal immigrants once pandemic-era border restrictions are fully ended.
Rosemary Jenks, vice president of NumbersUSA, which calls for stricter immigration policies, said the asylum changes are ripe for a legal challenge if someone has the standing to bring it.
Those covered by the policy have jumped the border and are in deportation proceedings. Under the law, Ms. Jenks said, their cases are supposed to be handled by immigration judges.
“This is yet another example of this administration essentially rewriting the law to suit their own needs,” she said. --->READ MORE HERE
Biden grants asylum officers the ability to decide migrant claims:
The Biden administration will allow asylum officers to make the final decisions in migrants' asylum claims, a significant change meant to turn the yearslong process into one resolved in a matter of months.
The departments of Homeland Security and Justice announced Thursday the implementation of a rule that grants asylum officers in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS agency, permission to take on duties previously only handled by immigration judges. The change will take effect in late May.
“The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “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."
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the change will "reduce the burden on our immigration courts," where approximately 500 judges have more than 1.5 million total immigration cases before them. --->READ MORE HERE
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