Resource: A.B.-B., et al. v. Morgan, et al.

By: Constitutional Accountability Center

August 31, 2020

Constitutional Accountability Center

People who arrive at the United States without documentation allowing them to enter the country may be summarily deported, without a hearing, unless they express an intention to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution in their home countries. In that situation, the asylum seeker is interviewed to determine whether her fear of persecution is credible. If so, the person is placed in normal deportation proceedings, where she can apply for asylum. Because Congress did not want potentially valid asylum claims to be rejected at this early stage, the law requires these “credible fear” interviews to be non-adversarial and carried out by trained asylum officers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). But despite those laws, in January 2020, USCIS entered into an agreement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a law enforcement agency, which allows CBP agents to conduct these interviews and make credible-fear determinations.