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USCIS implemented a new asylum rule

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USCIS implemented a new asylum rule

In March of 2022, the Biden administration issued a new rule that grants asylum officers authority to determine whether or not non-citizens seeking asylum at the border are eligible to apply for asylum. The rule seeks to create a swift process, where immigration officers at the border could expel non-citizens who do not have any asylum claim from those who may have a valid asylum claim.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) backs the rule. “The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “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.”

The process between when a non-citizen arrives at the border and when a ruling is made as to whether they are allowed to stay in the United States to pursue their asylum claim, or be removed from the United States, is inherently lengthy. The new rule seeks to shorten this process.

Now, if an asylum officer permits protections to an asylum seeker, he or she is allowed to stay in the United States without having to potentially appear in front of an immigration court. However, if the asylum officer determines that an immigrant is ineligible for asylum, the immigrant will have to go to appear in immigration court and have their status determined by a judge. The judge will then decide if the non-citizen has or does not have a valid claim to asylum; if the non-citizen does not, he or she will be deported.

Critics argue that the new rule will lead to incorrect decisions and unjust deportations. That said, the initial processes involved with border asylum claims have been long overdue for an overhaul. The new rule leads to the creation of a new system that efficiently determines immigration cases. Allowing asylum officers to make decisions on such cases rather than only border patrol or other DHS officers, may help shorten the decision-making process.

Furthermore, immigration courts are extremely overwhelmed, with nearly 1.2 million cases on their hands to deal with as of right now. This explains why there is an average wait time of 2 years for non-citizens to receive a decision on the merits of their removal defense claims. It also does not help that there is a limited number of asylum officers available to assist non-citizens during the implementation of this new rule.

Despite these concerns, one hopes that the U.S. immigration agencies are headed in the right direction in re-considering the current asylum vetting process. The U.S. immigration process, especially the asylum process, can be very exhausting and create a wave of anxiety as non-citizens continue to struggle in the battle for their status. We at Ibrahim Law Office ask that the Biden administration make further immigration reform one of its priorities as we continue to strive towards assisting people successfully navigate the U.S immigration system.

If you or a loved one have any questions regarding asylum or your status, please reach out to Ibrahim Law Office to schedule a consultation today.

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