US asylum officers ordered to take tougher stance on persecution claims: report

US asylum officers ordered to take tougher stance on persecution claims: report
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The Trump administration has reportedly sent new guidelines to officials who conduct "credible fear" interviews for asylum-seekers, telling them to be stricter and more aggressive in their questioning.

Officers are expected to more forcefully interrogate migrants whose claims have inconsistencies, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. They will also reportedly be required to provide a more detailed explanation about why the asylum-seeker has a well-founded fear of being in danger if they are returned to their home countries.

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“Officers conducting credible fear interviews should also be addressing any more detailed inconsistencies between the applicant’s testimony during the credible fear interview and other testimony in sworn statement,” wrote John Lafferty, who leads the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum division, in an email to employees, The Post reported. 

USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins told The Hill in a statement that the agency periodically updates its asylum officer training. She added the most recent update emphasized consistent processes for making asylum claim decisions

"As part of this periodic update, we have reiterated to asylum officers longstanding policies that help determine an individual’s credibility during the credible fear interview and have ensured there are consistent processes for both positive and negative credible fear determinations," she said in the statement. 

"USCIS considers credible fear claims on a case-by-case basis, taking into account relevant country conditions information and adhering to all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and precedent decisions," she said. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE has long been critical of the country's asylum program. Last month he called it a "scam."

“Some of the roughest people you’ve ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)," he said of asylum-seekers while speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition, according to a CSPAN video.

He also said last month that the country is "full" regardless of whether it is “illegal immigration” or “asylum.”