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Credible fear findings in expedited removal proceedings are plummeting, and this may just be the beginning of a campaign to reduce the demand for asylum hearings.

In expedited removal proceedings, aliens are deported after an interview with an immigration officer, without further proceedings, unless they express a fear of returning to their own countries.

If they can convince an asylum officer that they have a credible fear of persecution or that it is more likely than not that they will be tortured if they return to their own countries, they will be scheduled for an asylum hearing before an immigration judge.

An alien’s fear is considered “credible” if it shows a “significant possibility” that he will be able to establish eligibility for asylum or for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture.

The persecution has to be on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Otherwise, it will not make the alien eligible for asylum, no matter how serious it might be.

If the asylum officer rejects the alien’s claim, he can request an administrative review of the officer’s determination, which will be performed by an immigration judge. If the immigration judge rejects the alien’s claim too, he is deported without further proceedings.

Why it is necessary to expand the use of expedited removal proceedings.

President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement program is failing because of an immigration court backlog crisis. If he doesn’t eliminate that backlog soon, the population of undocumented aliens will be substantially larger when he leaves office than it was when he began his presidency.

Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-en...hard-times-are

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.