A recent Texas Tribune article detailed the launch of a rapid asylum review pilot program in Texas. The Trump Administration has introduced the pilot program as a means of both deterring migrants from trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border and pushing immigrants seeking asylum out of the U.S. more quickly. The new program, known as Prompt Asylum Claim Review, streamlines the asylum claim process by delivering decisions to applicants within ten days or less, as opposed to the months or years that it traditionally has taken immigrants to receive decisions on their claims.
Immigration officials are piloting the program in El Paso. Under the terms of the program, officials transport immigrants seeking asylum to a new Border Patrol facility, where they have one day to call family members or a lawyer. They then undergo a credible fear interview with an asylum officer to determine whether they have a credible fear of persecution if they return to their home countries. However, the process undermines due process, as immigrants may not meet with lawyers in Border Patrol facilities, meaning that they have limited access to legal assistance, other than brief conversations with lawyers via telephone.
If immigrants do not meet the credible fear standard, they can request a videoconference before an immigration court judge. Depending on the asylum officer’s findings and the judge’s ruling, immigration officials then either process the immigrants for deportation or place them in a detention facility. Currently, immigration judges located in New Mexico are reviewing the cases and holding videoconferences that immigrants in this situation request.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to questions from the press about the new program, stating only that it would uphold the due process rights of immigrants in the immigration court system.
No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case successfully.