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Trump Administration Is ‘Slowing the Asylum Process to Discourage Applicants,’ Says Official

U.S. agents are deliberately limiting asylum applications along the border with Mexico because the Trump administration believes allowing too many migrants to apply would encourage more to come, a Customs and Border Protection official is said to have admitted to Congress this month. Jud Murdock, CBP’s acting assistant commissioner, said in a closed congressional briefing that CBP had chosen to limit the number of asylum-seekers at ports of entry because “[t]he more we process, the more will come,” BuzzFeed News reports. Officials have previously said the act of metering—when officials limit the number of individuals who can make asylum claims at ports of entry per day—was due to issues such as a lack of detention space and personnel. But Murdock’s comments suggest the asylum process is being purposely slowed up to discourage applicants. His answers “clearly indicated, given the context, that the department’s decision to limit processing was primarily motivated by its desire to deter migrants from seeking asylum at ports of entry,” according to a letter written by senior House Democrats on Monday.