Expedited removal began at a time when most individuals subjected to it were not asylum seekers, indeed it was not created to be an asylum screening process. Rather, it is an “initial review meant to quickly identify potentially meritorious claims and screen out frivolous ones,” not a final adjudication of the asylum claim.

RAICES, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and Proyecto Dilley have collectively represented tens of thousands of asylum seekers in expedited removal across the Southwest border of the United States. These organizations have experienced first hand how the process fails applicants. Critically, while the credible fear standard is low and protective of applicants, this standard frequently is not realized.

The administration sought comment on a proposal to revamp how asylum seekers are processed through expedited removal. On behalf of RAICES and along with these legal service providers, Democracy Forward submitted a comment explaining that, to the extent the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice continue to use expedited removal to process migrants, “the Departments should reform credible fear screenings to ensure that they do not build a new regulatory scheme on a fundamentally unfair foundation.” The organizations recommend important changes DHS and DOJ should consider to make the proposed rule more effective and fair, as it would shape the lives of an untold number of asylum applicants.

Read the entire comment here.