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.

Go deeper

Cities brace for Election Day chaos

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Worst-case scenarios for Election Day: Illegal militias show up fully armed at polling places. People are intimidated from voting. Extremist groups launch violent protests that last for days.

Why it matters: Mayors are playing down the threats — projecting a "we've got this" tone of reassurance — but some law enforcement officials and people who monitor extremists are telling them to be prepared for anything.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
14 mins ago - Science

The next environmental crisis could be in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

An unexpected frontier is facing calls for new environmental regulations and cleanup: outer space.

Why it matters: Space junk clutters up orbits and poses an urgent threat to weather, security, communications and other satellites. Long-term, you can’t live or work in space if trash is literally slamming into you.

43 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Trump's sickness makes him harder to trust

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.3% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Large shares of women, seniors and independents now say they're less likely to trust President Trump for accurate information about COVID-19 since he caught it himself, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Week 28 of our national survey has most Americans rejecting ideas that Trump has floated around hydroxychloriquine as a virus treatment, how herd immunity works or any imminent availability of a vaccine.