The Biden Administration recently issued a new rule allowing for asylum officers at the U.S.-Mexico border to adjudicate claims for protection from removal made by immigrants. According to The Department of Homeland Security, this rule was a part of the aim shortening the time between a noncitizens’ arrival at the border and a decision if the persons can remain in the U.S.
This new policy might lead to a dramatic change for adjudication of asylum applications. As we know, most cases now are processed by immigration courts. However, with the new rule, if an asylum officer grants protections to a person seeking claiming for protection, the person can remain in the U.S. But, when the person is deemed not eligible for asylum, the case will be sent to an immigration court for further review. Within this concept, the case must be finalized within 90 days.
According to The Department of Homeland Security, the new rule aims to relieve a severely backlogged immigration court system. Right now, there are more than 1 million cases pending in the U.S. To effectively perform this rule, The Department of Homeland Security should hire considerably more asylum officers.
At the same time, Congress will also be adding additional judges to address the backlog. In an act championed by Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar, Congress approved funding in a new bill that includes allowing for 100 new immigration judges and support staff. In a statement, Congressman Cuellar stated that “by employing more immigration judges, we can adequately adjudicate the individuals and families entering our country, shifting our immigration influx into an opportunity rather than a crisis.”
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