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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AC24 Publication ID: Fall 2018 
Title: ●Credible Fear Reform 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will propose to amend regulatory provisions to streamline credible fear screening determinations, in response to the Southwest Border crisis. DHS plans to establish various measures, such as applying the mandatory bars to asylum eligibility to certain credible fear screening determinations, and removing provisions related to novel or unique issues that merit consideration in a full hearing before an immigration judge.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 208.2(b)    8 CFR 208.2(c)    8 CFR 208.30(e)(2)    8 CFR 208.30(e)(4)    8 CFR 208.30(e)(5)    8 CFR 208.30(f)    8 CFR 208.30(g)    8 CFR 235.6(a)   
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)    8 U.S.C. 1224(b)(1)(A)(ii)    8 U.S.C. 1224(b)(1)(B)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The reforms that will be proposed by DHS aim to respond to the national emergency caused by the influx of inadmissible aliens along the Southwest Border and reduce the threat to U.S. national security and public safety.  Additionally, these provisions will make the adjudication of credible fear claims more efficient while upholding U.S. treaty obligations and law that prevent the return of aliens to a country in which they would be persecuted or tortured. In combination with other policy, operational, and legal reforms, the proposed changes will reduce the strain on DHS resources by deterring illegal migration to the United States, thereby addressing the Southwest Border crisis and protecting U.S. national security and public safety.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 235(b), 8 U.S.C. 1225(b), defines the term credible fear of persecution as a significant possibility, taking into the account the credibility of the statements made by the alien in support of the alien’s claim and such other facts as are known to the officer, that the alien could establish eligibility for asylum under section 8 U.S.C. 1158. Currently, U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services flags any potential bars for the consideration of the immigration judge making a final determination on asylum eligibility. Since eligibility for asylum includes an applicability of any bars at 208(b)(2) or 241(b)(3) of the INA, DHS proposes modifications to the regulation to enable USCIS itself to apply the bars when making a credible fear of persecution determination.


The alternative to this rule would be to continue under the current process without change.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

DHS is still considering the exact cost and benefit impacts of the proposed provisions. In general, DHS anticipates that there may be some impacts to the adjudication of some credible fear applications.



Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  09/00/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
John L. Lafferty
Chief, Asylum Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20529-2090
Phone:202 272-8377
Fax:202 272-1480