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Implementation of the Streamlined Credible Fear and Asylum Processing Interim Final Rule

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This interim rule was published on March 31, 2022 which was to go into effect 60 days later. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the new interim rule is being implemented in certain parts of the country. We discuss the Streamlined Credible Fear and Asylum Processing rule here.

The Department of Homeland Security, “DHS” has confirmed that individuals placed into expedited removal proceedings after May 31, 2022 are potentially subject to the new process. The rule is to apply prospectively to only adults and families placed in expedited removal proceedings who indicate an intention to apply for asylum.

DHS has also confirmed that the first locations for placement under this process will be detention facilities in Texas. Thereafter, after August 15, 2022, referrals for an Asylum Merits Interview will be limited to individuals who indicate to DHS officers that they intend to reside in the following seven cities: Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco or Chicago.

Outline of the Process Provided by DHS:

First, a Noncitizen is placed in expedited removal proceedings.

Next, Noncitizens in expedited removal proceedings receive a credible fear interview while detained. An enforcement officer that does not believe that a noncitizen does not have a credible fear, may request that an immigration review the Immigration enforcement officer’s determination. The noncitizen can also request in limited circumstances for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service to reconsider the officer’s negative credible fear determination.

Noncitizens who are determined by an Immigration enforcement officer to have a credible fear of persecution and who enforcement officers believe the noncitizen determines that it is appropriate to release the noncitizen, may refer the case to USCIS for a non-adversarial Asylum Merits Interview.

This process will not require a separate asylum application since the credible fear determination will be considered the application where the date of the determination will be considered the date of filing of the application. The Merits Interview is then to take place no earlier than 21 days but no later than 45 days after the credible fear determination.

Noncitizens will have 7-10 days to submit before the Merits Interview to amend or correct the record resulting from the credible ear interview or submit additional evidence.

If the USCIS officer does not grant asylum, USCIS will refer the case to the immigration court for a streamlined removal proceeding. There, the immigration judge will review the noncitizen’s asylum application and supporting evidence and determine whether asylum should be granted.

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