The Trump administration has launched a pilot program that expedites the time it takes to process and deport asylum seekers at the U.S-Mexico border.
Migrants arriving at the border in El Paso, Texas, can receive a decision regarding their asylum claims in 10 days or less, rather than undergo an asylum process that could take months or years, according to a report from the Washington Post. The new program, known as Prompt Asylum Claim Review, aims to deter illegal immigration and keep asylum seekers out of the U.S.
The program just launched in October and is being conducted in the El Paso area only.
Under Prompt Asylum Claim Review, migrants who have been apprehended in the El Paso area are transferred to a 1,500-bed Border Patrol facility. They are then given one day to phone a lawyer or family member, and then they are interviewed by an asylum officer to determine if their asylum claims are credible, according to Customs and Border Protection officials who spoke with the Washington Post.
In a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed the existence of the program.
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“It should come as no surprise that the President is doing exactly what he said he would do. DHS has partnered with DOJ to conduct a pilot program to expedite the processing of aliens while providing protections and due process for all,” a DHS spokesperson said Thursday to TheDCNF.
Prompt Asylum Claim Review appears to be the latest attempt by the Trump administration to clamp down on the wave of illegal aliens arriving at the U.S. southern border.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan led the talks with the Central American countries that signed asylum agreements, which include Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Under the agreements, migrants who pass through another “third” country en route to the U.S. must first seek protected status in that country. The deals aim to mitigate the number of migrants who ultimately arrive at the southern border.
The White House also entered into a cooperative deal with Mexico that has allowed immigration officials to transfer thousands of asylum seekers back to their country. Known as Remain in Mexico, the program mandates asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their claims are processed in the U.S. immigration court system.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review completed more than 275,000 migrant asylum cases in fiscal year 2019, the second highest number of completions in the agency’s entire history. Nevertheless, the agency is still dealing with a tremendous backlog of asylum claims as migrants continue to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border in high numbers.