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Claims of Fear

CBP Southwest Border and Claims of Credible Fear Total Apprehensions/Inadmissibles  (FY2017 - FY2019)

Total Apprehensions & Inadmissibles415,517521,090977,509
Total Claims of Credible Fear Apprehensions & Inadmissibles55,58492,959146,660
CF Apprehensions/Inadmissibles % of Total13%18%15%


Individuals Claiming Credible Fear

Those who are apprehended between Ports of Entry and claim credible fear are processed for expedited removal by U.S. Border Patrol. Those who arrive at Ports of Entry, are found inadmissible, and claim credible fear are processed for expedited removal by the Office of Field Operations. All claims of credible fear are referred to Asylum Officers of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Under the Expedited Removal Provisions, an agent or officer takes the applicant's sworn statement, including asking four questions regarding any fear the alien may have of returning to his or her home country and the potential of being harmed. During Expedited Removal proceedings, detainees are questioned regarding any fear they may have of returning to their country of origin, to ensure that each detainee is afforded the ability to articulate claims of fear. Those questions are:

  1. Why did you leave your home or country of last residence?
  2. Do you have any fear or concern about being returned to your home country or being removed from the United States?
  3. Would you be harmed if you are returned to your home country or country of last residence?
  4. Do you have any questions or is there anything else you would like to add?

CBP Agents and Officers have no discretion as to whether or not to refer an alien for a credible fear interview. CBP Agents and Officers do not make any determination on the validity of such claims and refer the person for an interview with a USCIS Asylum Officer. 

Note: Figures are accurate as of October 2019 and are subject to variances based on the adjudication of cases.

U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions (FY2017 - FY2019) 

Southwest BorderFY17FY18FY19
Total Apprehensions303,916396,579851,508
Total Claims of Credible Fear Apprehensions38,30054,69066,605
CF Apprehensions % of Total13%14%8%

For breakdown by Sector, visit USBP Claims of Credible Fear Apprehensions by Sector.

Office of Field Operations Southwest Border Inadmissibles (FY2017 - FY2019)

Southwest BorderFY17FY18FY19
Total Inadmissibles111,275124,876126,001
Total Claims of Credible Fear Inadmissibles17,28438,39980,055
CF Inadmissibles % of Total16%31%64%

For breakdown by Field Office, visit Southwest Border Claims of Credible Fear Inadmissibles by Field Office

Last Modified: Jul 17, 2020