New Asylum Rules Start – But Only at 2 Locations

The Biden government is trying to make big changes to America’s asylum system. The new rules started on May 31, but only at 2 detention centers in Texas. Asylum seekers must also plan to live near 1 of 6 asylum offices: Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, and San Francisco.

The new system has 2 steps. The first is a “credible fear interview” to decide if the person faces persecution in their home country. Passing the interview counts as their application.

The second step is an Asylum Merits Interview (AMI) within 21 to 45 days. Passing this interview means they win and get asylum. The new process takes weeks instead of 4 to 5 years.

If they fail the AMI, they go to immigration court for an “expedited” process that should take 2 to 4 months.

The way things are now, most people stopped at the border don’t get credible fear interviews. Many are sent back to Mexico as part of the “Remain in Mexico” program. Others are given papers to appear in court, then released.

People complain that the new system won’t give people enough time to prepare their cases. Also, 2 lawsuits trying to stop the new system, say it’s illegal and that it will make more people come to the border.

The new system is not perfect, but it’s the biggest change to asylum rules in 25 years and much better than the current system. If either lawsuit wins, things will stay how they are instead of getting better.

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