The Biden administration is set to start its “credible fear” screenings for migrants seeking asylum at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities as the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for a potential increase in migration over the next month following the end of Title 42, a public health order enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic which is coming to an end.
DHS confirmed to Fox News Digital that the agency was trying “to provide access to legal services for individuals who receive credible fear interviews in CBP custody.” As part of this process, migrants would be able to get “credible fear interviews from specially trained U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] officers while still in [CBP] custody,” according to spokesperson Marsha Espinosa.
This is going to become the initial step taken by those migrants who want to claim asylum and it would help reduce the timeline for the asylum decision, which normally would take years in court. Migrants would need to establish before an immigration judge that they have a “credible fear of persecution” if they were to go back to their country.
A federal judge is ultimately going to need to make the decision, but the screening can be conducted by USCIS. Some Republicans have also noted that they were concerned about the possibility that migrants had been released into the U.S. without ever receiving a referral for a credible fear hearing.
The DHS has pointed out that under the new program, migrants would still be in the custody of CBP.