U.S. to test faster asylum screenings for migrants crossing border illegally
The U.S. government next week will begin testing faster asylum screenings for migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, the Department of Homeland Security said on Saturday.
U.S. asylum officers will conduct initial asylum screenings for a small number of migrants within days while they remain in the custody of border authorities, Homeland Security spokesperson Marsha Espinosa said. The interviews will take place over the phone and migrants will have access to legal counsel during the screenings, she said.
U.S. President Joe Biden, has implemented new border restrictions in recent months as he grapples with record numbers of migrants caught crossing illegally. Former President Donald Trump also used rapid asylum screenings to speed up the resolution of cases but those screenings were conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel and without the guarantee of legal representation.