May 7, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Report: Trump admin tells asylum officers to be tougher on immigrants

Migrants board buses to take them to shelters, El Paso, April 28. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Asylum officers are being told to be tougher and more skeptical when interviewing migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., the Washington Post's Nick Miroff reports.

Why it matters: According to the new guidelines, officers are expected to thoroughly question any discrepancies in asylum-seekers' stories of persecution and require that they provide detailed reasons before determining if an applicant has a reasonable fear of harm should they be returned to their home country. It is the latest of several attempts by the Trump administration to crack down on asylum-seekers and illegal border crossers.

  • The change comes after months of surging numbers of immigrants crossing the border. There was also an uptick in the share of migrants who went through credible fear interviews — the first step of the asylum process — last year.
  • One anonymous asylum officer told the Post that the changes were "huge" and that it would make the screening process significantly longer. Processing at the border is already bogged down, and detention spaces are overcrowded with the high numbers of migrant families and children.
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