A new joint proposed rule would alter asylum adjudications by having the claims for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) of those found to have a credible fear adjudicated by an immigration judge in “streamlined proceedings” rather than in regular removal proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Departments further propose changes to the regulations regarding asylum, statutory withholding of removal, and withholding and deferral of removal under the CAT regulations. The Departments also propose amendments related to the standards for adjudication of applications for asylum and statutory withholding.
Among other things, the Departments propose raising the standard of proof in “credible fear” screenings for those in expedited removal proceedings and for stowaways from a “significant possibility” that the person can establish eligibility for statutory withholding of removal to a reasonable possibility that the person would be persecuted because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Similarly, for those expressing a fear of torture, the Departments propose raising the standard of proof from a significant possibility that the person is eligible for withholding or deferral of removal under the CAT regulations to a reasonable possibility that the person would be tortured in the country of removal.
The proposed rule would also specify certain types of claims that, in general, will not be expected to be favorably adjudicated, such as asylum or statutory withholding of removal claims based on persecution due to gender.
The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on June 15, 2020, by the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the Department of Justice and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security. Comments are due within 30 days after the date of publication.