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Asylum interviewers will no longer be trained to consider lack of asylum seekers' evidence

  1. Date Announced

    April 30, 2019

    USCIS released revised training guidelines for asylum officers, omitting a paragraph from the previous version that advised interviewers to consider that asylum seekers may not have all the evidence to demonstrate credible fear of persecution upon first arriving in the United States. [ID #95]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    April 30, 2019
  3. Subsequent Action

    October 31, 2020

    A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of several asylum seekers challenging new policies contained in “credible fear” lesson plans for asylum seekers. According to the order, the lesson plans are vacated in their entirety and the government must bring back, at government expense, the two named plaintiffs who had been deported before the case was filed so that they can be re-screened. The case is Kiakombua v. Wolf, Case No. 1:19-cv-01872 (D.D.C.).

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Kiakombua v. Wolf Opinion
Status: In Litigation
Type of Action: Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Asylum, Withholding and CAT
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Prior Policies

  • Previously, USCIS training guidelines for asylum officers included a notice to officers to bear in mind that asylum seekers may not have all necessary evidence in hand, stating, in part, that "[o]ften times, in the credible fear context of expedited removal and detention, an applicant will not be able to provide additional evidence corroborating his or her otherwise credible testimony."

    Lesson Plan Overview: Credible Fear of Persecution and Torture Determinations, February 2017

Subsequent Action

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