Report: White House May Alter 'Credible Fear Interviews'

Biden administration is expected to take action after border bill's failure
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 5:45 PM CST
Report: White House May Alter 'Credible Fear Interviews'
Migrants wait to be processed by the US Customs and Border Patrol after they crossed the Rio Grande and entered the US from Mexico, Oct. 19, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

After Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan border bill earlier this month, it was widely expected that the Biden administration would make a move independent of Congress to deter illegal migration at the southern border. Sources tell NBC News how those plans appear to be taking shape: Three unnamed officials say the White House is considering making it tougher for migrants to pass "credible fear interviews," which are the initial screenings those who have crossed the border illegally seeking asylum submit to in hopes of avoiding deportation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would also be told to more quickly deport recently arrived migrants who don't pass the interviews under a "last in, first out" approach.

The action could take shape as an executive order or a new federal regulation, but it's still weeks from the finish line and would take months to put into place. How NBC News puts it: "The Biden administration has yet to make a decision, but raising the bar on asylum and deporting more newly arrived migrants are considered 'low hanging fruit' and actions that can be taken quickly" ahead of the presidential election. (The border bill that was shot down included provisions to shut down the border when necessary.)

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