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Photo: David Peinado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum division has been asked to begin training Border Patrol agents to being conducting "credible fear" interviews — the first screening asylum seekers must pass before applying for asylum, the L.A. Times reports.

Why it matters: It's yet another bit of guidance intended to make the asylum process more difficult as the Trump administration struggles to process and detain record numbers of migrant families and children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The White House has backed the plan, with Stephen Miller arguing that they will be tougher on migrants than asylum officers, NBC News has reported.

There are other ways the asylum process is becoming more difficult:

  • The waiting game: The Trump administration has capped the number of asylum claims they will accept each day at legal ports of entry. It's led to around 13,000 immigrants waiting along the border for their chance at asylum, the AP reports.
    • Asylum seekers are given numbers on plastic wristbands to mark their place in line, and some have waited months. But others sometimes decide they can't wait and attempt to cross the border illegally to submit their asylum claim.
    • One Honduran father and his 3 children are believed to have drowned after giving up on waiting and attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. via the Rio Grande, according to the AP.
  • Tougher questioning: Asylum officers have been told to be tougher on immigrants during the initial credible fear interview. Officers are now expected to provide detailed accounts for their asylum determinations and thoroughly question migrants' stories of why they fear returning to their home country.
  • Remain in Mexico: A recent federal court ruling allows immigration officials to force some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their asylum case is decided — which can take months.

The bottom line: Migrant adults, families and minors often fleeing poverty and violence are often being forced to wait months to claim asylum at legal ports of entry. And while most immigrants pass the initial credible fear interview, the median asylum grant rate for all immigration courts is just 11%, according to the Justice Department.

Go deeper: How the U.S. asylum process works

Go deeper

39 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.