(AP) — The Biden administration has unveiled new procedures to handle asylum claims at the U.S. southern border, hoping to decide cases in months instead of years.
The rules empower asylum officers to grant or deny claims, an authority that has been limited to immigration judges for people arriving at the border with Mexico.
Immigration courts are backlogged with nearly 1.7 million cases, and it takes an average of nearly four years to decide an asylum case.
The changes unveiled Thursday could have far-reaching impact, but officials say they will start slowly.
The changes are expected to take effect in about two months.