Elimination of Fear Screening Referral Safeguards in Expedited Removal

To ensure that asylum seekers are properly referred for screening interviews and not mistakenly deported through expedited removal, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is required to ask several questions to ascertain whether a person may have a fear or concern of return, triggering their referral for a Credible Fear Interview (CFI).

Eliminating these crucial referral questions – and expecting people to pass the “Shout Test” where people who fear return are expected to spontaneously express it – will endanger vulnerable and at-risk asylum seekers including rape survivors, people who do not speak English or Spanish, LGBTQ asylum seekers, political dissidents, and victims of trauma or torture.


Form I-867B prompts CBP Officers to ask questions to elicit whether an individual fears persecution or torture if returned, including:

Q: Why did you leave your home country or country of last residence?

Q: Do you have any fear or concern about being returned to your home country or being removed from the United States?

Q: Would you be harmed if you are returned to your home country or country of last residence?

These questions are necessary as some asylum seekers may not know that they can ask for asylum, may not know that this is the time when they must raise their fear, or may fear raising their fear affirmatively in settings that are often not confidential. The questions are supposed to be asked with proper interpretation, as many asylum seekers do not speak English.

If an individual expresses fear in response to these questions, CBP is supposed to refer them for a CFI. If an individual in their CFI successfully demonstrates they have a “significant possibility” of establishing their eligibility for asylum, CBP refers them for a hearing before an Immigration Judge on their asylum claim or for an Asylum Merits Interview.

These questions are critical to ensuring that CBP actually identifies people who require fear screening interviews. Research confirms that when questions are not asked, people who express fear are not referred for credible fear screenings.

Fact Sheets

Published on January 30, 2024


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