The Biden administration will start conducting “credible fear” assessments for asylum seekers at Customs and Border Protection as the Department of Homeland Security prepares for a possible increase in immigration when Title 42 expires next month.
According to reporting by Fox News Digital, DHS has confirmed the agency will be working with legal service providers to “provide” individuals who will be receiving fear interviews in CBP custody with “access to legal services.”
Marsha Espinosa, the DHS spokeswoman, explained the plan was part of an ongoing effort to begin a process to allow migrants to “receive credible fear interviews” from specially trained USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) officers while they are still in the custody of Custom Border Protection.
The credible fear interviews will become the first step for immigrants seeking asylum and is a significantly lower bar than a final asylum decision, which can take years to resolve in immigration court.
The interviews require migrants to show that there is a “significant possibility” that they can show an immigration judge a credible fear of persecution if they return to their country of origin.
Although the final decision will be made by a federal judge, USCIS officers will conduct a credible fear assessment. CNN was the first to report on the development, describing it being conducted on a pilot basis, which the DHS confirmed would continue but only in CBP custody.
The news comes as some Republicans are expressing concern that plenty of migrants are being allowed into the United States without even being sent to a credible fear hearing.