‘Credible fear’ for US asylum harder to prove

July 16, 2018
The Detroit News

As part of the Trump administration’s broader crackdown on immigration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently tightened the restrictions on the types of cases that can qualify someone for asylum, making it harder for Central Americans who say they’re fleeing the threat of gangs, drug smugglers or domestic violence to pass even the first hurdle for securing U.S. protection.

“This is a direct, manipulated attack on the asylum process,” said Sofia Casini of the Austin non-profit Grassroots Leadership, which has been working with immigrant women held at the nearby T. Don Hutto detention center who were separated from their kids under a widely condemned policy that President Donald Trump ended on June 20.

Casini said that of the roughly 35 separated mothers her group worked with, more than a third failed their credible fear interviews, which she said is about twice the failure rate of before the new restrictions took effect. Nationally, more than 2,000 immigrant children and parents have yet to be reunited, including Aragon and her daughter, who is being held at a New York children’s shelter and whose future is as unclear as her mother’s.