(Presidentialwire.com)- As part of President Biden’s recent efforts to address the record number of illegals crossing the border, the US will begin using fast-track asylum screenings, Reuters reported last week.
According to sources who spoke with Reuters, the government is planning for rapid screenings to determine if those crossing the southern border have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home countries, the first step in assessing asylum claims.
However, the plan will likely upset open borders advocates, including Democrat lawmakers, who were critical of a similar program implemented by the Trump administration that President Biden ended by executive order shortly after taking office.
Reuters first reported in early December that the Biden administration was considering several Trump-era restrictions on illegal immigration.
In early January, Biden expanded a Trump-era pandemic-related border expulsion policy while opening up more legal pathways for so-called migrants to enter the United States.
Under the fast-track screening, illegals detained by Customs and Border Protection will be interviewed remotely by an asylum officer within days of their detention. Those who fail to establish a credible fear of persecution will be deported.
Two US officials told Reuters that a group of Biden officials visited the southern border last week in preparation for the fast-track plan. However, it is not certain when the plan will begin.
Opponents of fast-track screening argue that it leaves legitimate asylum seekers with little time to obtain lawyers making it more likely that they would be unjustly deported.
Heidi Altman, the policy director at the National Immigrant Justice Center, called the plan a “mockery of justice.” Altman told Reuters that asylum seekers would be “forced to present a complicated legal claim” from jail “less than two days” after arriving at the border.
A representative from a labor union representing US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) workers, which includes asylum officers, told Reuters that the union already informed USCIS that it will oppose any new policies restricting access to asylum.