Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool / Getty

This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed a decision that gave asylum-seekers and applicants for withholding of removal a right to a full hearing even after deemed ineligible for asylum according to their paperwork. This upended the precedent set by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) four years ago.

Why it matters: This is an attempt to curtail the growing backlog in immigration courts by allowing quicker denials of these kinds of applications without a hearing. Devin O'Malley, a DOJ spokesperson, told Axios the BIA's decision had "added unnecessary cases to the dockets of immigration judges who are working hard to reduce an already large immigration court backlog.”

What's next: Sessions' move will likely be appealed in a federal court, but while the case is pending, immigration courts could deny hundreds of applicants seeking asylum without allowing a hearing, according to Leon Fresco, former Deputy Assistant A.G. at DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation. All of those cases could then be appealed in federal courts until a final decision is made on whether asylum seekers have a right to a full hearing.

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 33,516,946 — Total deaths: 1,005,394 — Total recoveries: 23,273,369Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m ET: 7,188,543 — Total deaths: 205,966 — Total recoveries: 2,809,674 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility
  5. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  6. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  7. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  8. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

Trump and Biden clash over COVID: "It is what it is because you are who you are"

Joe Biden attacked President Trump at the presidential debate on Tuesday for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of panicking and failing to prepare for the crisis when he was warned about it in February.

The big picture: "It is what it is because you are who you are," Biden said, alluding to an answer Trump gave in an interview with "Axios on HBO" when asked about the 150,000+ death toll from the coronavirus. Trump responded by claiming that Biden would not have shut down travel from China in the early days of the pandemic, and he defended his administration's mass production of ventilators and protective equipment.

Debate dashboard: Catch up fast

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images