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Trump Administration Directs Asylum Screeners to Be More Confrontational in Interviews: Report

The Trump administration has reportedly set new guidelines for U.S. officers screening asylum seekers, directing them to scrutinize “discrepancies” in migrants’ stories and requiring officers to give specific justifications when they conclude a migrant has a legitimate “fear of harm” in their home country. According to internal emails and documents obtained by The Washington Post, the more “skeptical and confrontational approach” is supposed to crack down on legal “loopholes” that border officials claim have enabled more migrants to enter the U.S. through the southern border. Officers were instructed in an email to hone in on “detailed inconsistencies” between the asylum applicant’s interview and their other testimony. An asylum officer also told the Post the “huge” rule changes mandating officers write “detailed written analysis” while referring an applicant to court will make the application-approval process significantly more time consuming. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the White House reportedly did not respond to requests for comment.