A pilot program has been initiated by the Trump administration to speed up the time it takes to process and detain asylum-seekers at the U.S. border.
Instead of undertaking an asylum process that could take months or years, according to a report from The Washington Post, people arriving at the border in El Paso, Texas, will obtain a decision on their asylum claims in 10 days or less.
The new program, known as the Prompt Asylum Claim Review, seeks to discourage illegal immigration and keep asylum-seekers out of the United States. The project was just launched in October and is only being carried out in the El Paso region.
Illegal aliens apprehended in the El Paso area are moved to a 1,500-bed Border Patrol facility under Prompt Asylum Claim Review.
They are then given one day to call a lawyer or family member, and then an asylum officer interviews them to determine if their asylum claims are valid, officials from Customs and Border Protection told The Washington Post.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed the existence of the program.
“It should come as no surprise that the president is doing exactly what he said he would do. DHS has partnered with DOJ to conduct a pilot program to expedite the processing of aliens while providing protections and due process for all,” a DHS representative said Thursday to TheDCNF.
Prompt Asylum Claim Review seems to be the Trump administration’s latest attempt to clamp down on the surge of illegal aliens arriving at the southern border of the United States.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan led talks with the countries of Central America that signed asylum agreements, including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Migrants passing through another “third” country on their way to the United States must first obtain protected status in that nation under the agreements.
The agreements are aimed at reducing the number of migrants finally arriving at the southern border.
The White House also entered into a cooperative agreement with Mexico that allowed immigration officials to move thousands of asylum-seekers back to their country.
Known as Remain in Mexico, the plan requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico as the U.S. immigration court system investigates their claims.
More than 275,000 migrant asylum cases have been completed in fiscal year 2019 by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the second highest number of completions in the entire history of the department.
Nevertheless, as people continue to arrive at the U.S.- Mexico border in high numbers, the department is still struggling with a massive backlog of asylum claims.