It looks as if the USCIS (US Immigration and Citizenship Services) wants asylum officers who hear initial claims of credible fear to allow people to stay in the US only if they have a significant possibility of winning when they do eventually have a hearing before an immigration judge. It looks as if this could the kind of change that immigration lawyers warned of when the large groups of people organized by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance began to cross the border en masse and ask for asylum. But the effect will most likely be to make it even more difficult for genuine asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in Mexico and Central America to even have a hearing before a judge. The articles mention 36,000 credible fear claims in 2013, but I do not think the articles mention how few are actually granted in court already. Fewer than 5 percent for people from Mexico and Central America. In many jurisdictions, the asylum caseloads are so heavy that hearings may be scheduled years ahead. This rule change is a way to cut the caseload, thus denying the asylum seekers their chance to have a full hearing on their cases. The LATimes story is below.
Click here for the AP story: Homeland Security Reissues Immigrant Asylum Rules
Click here for the LA Times article: Immigration Officials Raise The Bar On Asylum Interview Process