U.S. to test faster asylum screenings for migrants crossing border illegally

U.S. to test faster asylum screenings for migrants crossing border illegally

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration subsequent week will start testing faster asylum screenings for migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, the Division of Homeland Safety mentioned on Saturday, a part of preparations for the tip of COVID-19 border restrictions in Might.

U.S. asylum officers will conduct preliminary asylum screenings for a small variety of migrants inside days whereas they continue to be within the custody of border authorities, Homeland Safety spokesperson Marsha Espinosa mentioned. The interviews will happen over the cellphone and migrants could have entry to authorized counsel through the screenings, she mentioned.

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has applied new border restrictions in current months as he grapples with report numbers of migrants caught crossing illegally. Republican former President Donald Trump additionally used fast asylum screenings to velocity up the decision of instances however these screenings have been performed by U.S. Customs and Border Safety personnel and with out the assure of authorized illustration.

Since March 2020, U.S. authorities have been in a position to rapidly Rexpel migrants caught crossing the border illegally again to Mexico beneath a COVID-19 order often called Title 42. The order is about to finish on Might 11 together with the broader pandemic public well being emergency and the Biden administration is bracing for a attainable rise in crossings afterward.

The experiment with faster asylum screenings “will inform best practices” if the administration decides to apply it extra broadly sooner or later, Espinosa mentioned. The spokesperson declined to say the place on the border it will be applied subsequent week.

DailyKhaleej first reported in December that Biden officers have been weighing whether or not to use the accelerated asylum screenings amongst different Trump-style restrictions.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Modifying by Alistair Bell)