What could go wrong? DHS officers, not judges are deciding illegal immigrant asylum cases

WASHINGTON, DC — In a move that began discretely in 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Joe Biden, began to pivot the adjudication of alleged asylum-seekers away from immigration courts and into the hands of DHS Officers.

These officers are permitted as of the 2022 rule change to render decisions in “credible fear” interviews for illegal immigrants coached to seek asylum by various non-governmental agencies like the American Red Cross.

As reported by the Center for Immigration Studies, the “Procedures for Credible Fear Screening and Consideration of Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and CAT Protection Claims by Asylum Officers” published by the Biden administration in the Federal Register in March 2022 "overturns more than 25 years of practice and procedure by allowing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers (AOs) to adjudicate the asylum claims of both illegal migrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents and inadmissible aliens."

The rule, known in shorthand as the “Asylum Officer Rule," flipped a quarter-century of standard procedure and legal practice on its head.

The CIS explains that under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 an amendment of the the Immigration and Nationality Act, Congress created an "expedited removal" procedure. This was designed specifically to curb the abuse of our nation's asylum system.

On paper it allows Customs and Border Patrol agents to deport illegal aliens quickly without getting a removal order from an immigration judge. But as the Center noted, "Expedited removal, however, comes with a 'catch.'"

"That catch," the Center said, "requires CBP officers and Border Patrol agents to refer aliens subject to expedited removal who express a fear of harm if returned or who ask for asylum to AOs at USCIS, for what is known as a 'credible fear' interview."

T
he “credible fear” standard is low, defined by statute as “a significant possibility, taking into account the credibility of the statements made by the alien in support of the alien's claim and such other facts as are known to the officer, that the alien could establish eligibility for asylum under section 208” of the INA."

So in short, instead of severely curtailing illegal immigration, with a bevy of politically appointed and selectively hired Homeland Security officials in the federal bureaucracy managing the approval of asylum claims with a vanishingly non-existent standard of "credible fear" to work with, an "express lane" has effectively been created.

And the instructions to use it are being readily handed to illegal immigrants by various NGO's such as the Open Society Foundation, funded by George Soros, and the American Red Cross.  

As reported by Sixty Minutes last week, "Videos on TikTok are providing migrants with step-by-step instructions for hiring a smuggler and illegally entering America through a small gap in the southern border fence."



As highlighted by the CBS report, Chinese illegal immigrants are particularly favored by this system. Citing the Deptartment of Justice, CBS noted that in 2023, 55% of Chinese illegal immigrants were granted asylum, compared to about 14% of other nationalities.
 
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