Grijalva Demands Improvements to DHS's CBP One Asylum App

Grijalva Demands Improvements to DHS's CBP One Asylum App

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
March 25, 2024

Efforts to improve the asylum process for immigrants have been compounded by the ongoing border crisis, as asylum seekers navigate the CBP One app for their asylum processing. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) recently spearheaded a letter demanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improve the CBP One app to process asylum seekers faster.

"First and foremost, CBP’s decision to require asylum seekers to use the still-faulty CBP One app fundamentally undermines the accessibility of the asylum process. Because individuals seeking asylum at our southern border are required to pre-schedule an appointment through the app, the current process obstructs the right to seek asylum by forcing individuals to remain in Mexico while waiting for their asylum cases to be heard," wrote Rep. Grijalva.

Last March, he and other members of Congress demanded changes to the app related to photo evidence CBP One required for applicants, as "the facial comparison technology it has used is far more likely to misidentify people of color, children, and transgender migrants," which made the asylum application process less fair for those groups.

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Despite DHS improving the facial recognition technology, the complexity of the app, whether it be the fact that it only offers three languages (English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole) or the strict lottery system for asylum screening (only 100 applicants are seen a day at the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona, the only legal port of entry for 700 miles), many migrants are forced to rely on the Mexican drug cartels to gain entry into the United States, as Rep. Grijalva noted.

"Requiring asylum seekers to wait for a rare CBP One appointment, available only in a limited number of ports of entry, inadvertently fuels gang violence as criminal groups exploit these vulnerable individuals for financial gain," the letter continued.

However, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued in February that due to the severity of the border crisis, "third country" asylum processing, such as in El Salvador and Honduras, or former President Donald Trump's Remain in Mexico policy, were far more sensible.

"All that was working, and those countries liked it. It’s counterintuitive to some people, but they like it. Honduras like it. El Salvador liked it. Guatemala liked it. You know why, migrants stopped going there because every third country realizes people aren’t coming here to stay here, they are coming here as a way to get to the US. And if coming here disqualifies them automatically from going to the US, they’re not going to come here," Sen. Rubio told The Floridian.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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