>> The Department of Homeland Security drafting new rules for immigration agents at the US-Mexico border to speed up deportations by making it more tough for would be immigrants to claim asylum. Sources telling Reuters the new guidelines would make it harder for asylum seekers to prove they have credible fear of returning home.
Reuters criminal justicecCorrespondent Julia Edwards Ainsley.>> Women and children traveling together from Central America across the US-Mexico border make up a demographic that has spiked in recent years of people claiming asylum. And these people cannot be held in detention for longer than 20 days, according to recent court filings.
So, Trump Administration wants to push those guidelines a little further. They want to issue guidance that says that asylum officers should turn more people away, not let them into the country to make their case before an immigration judge, and they say that they could hold these people for longer in order to deter future migration.
>> Between July and September of 2016, US asylum officers accepted nearly 88% of the claims of credible fear, many of them from migrants belonging to Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Asylum seekers who fail the credible fear test can be quickly deported. Those who do pass are allowed to stay in the US until their immigration hearings, often scheduled years into the future due to a backlog of more than 500,000 cases in immigration courts.
Some border officers are concerned that faster deportations could strain the all ready overcrowded facilities where migrants are forced to wait while US officials get approval to deport them. Homeland Security personnel working on the guidance say they hope to expand that detention space by at least 800,000 beds, something that would require Congressional approval and would carry a heavy price tag.
An average immigrant detainee cost the US government $122 a day, meaning that an increase of 8,000 detainees would cost nearly a million dollars a day. Seven Congressional delegations are expected to visit the US-Mexico border this month to consider what it would take to build a border wall and deter migration.