Biden Expedites Immigration Process

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Many people are very happy about this.

To reduce the processing time of asylum applications from a few years to a few months, the Biden administration is issuing a new rule.

The rule, by the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, will enable U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers to assess the asylum applications of people who are eligible for expedited removal from a country. This assessment will only be conducted after these individuals pass the required screening for a credible dear of persecution or torture from their country of origin.

Presently, only immigration judges can decide these matters, which has led to a years-long backlog.

In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted that “The current system for handling asylum claims at our borders has long needed repair.” He added that through the new rule, the administration is “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.”

Mayorkas also maintained that under the new rule, the department will “process claims for asylum or other humanitarian protection in a timely and efficient manner while ensuring due process.”

The most significant goal of the new rule is to resolve asylum cases within an estimated 180 days.

Individuals seeking expedited removal will first need to pass their credible fear assessment and then be interviewed by an asylum officer. From there, USCIS will decide the outcome of their claim instead of bringing the matter before an immigration judge.

Addressing the new rules in a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland noted that the rule is in line with the administration’s “efforts to ensure that asylum claims are processed fairly, expeditiously, and consistent with due process.”

The rule, first announced in August last year, will not apply to unaccompanied minors who enter the U.S and will only apply to those who initiate the expedited removal process after the new rule takes effect. The measure will likely only take effect in late May or early June, as the rules only take effect 60 days after publishing in the Federal Register.