LOS FRESNOS, Texas – Attorney General Jeff Sessions has quietly tightened restrictions on the types of cases that can qualify someone for asylum in the U.S., as part of the Trump administration's broader crackdown on immigration.
That has made it harder for Central Americans who say they're fleeing the threat of gangs, drug smugglers or domestic violence to pass even the opening steps for securing U.S. protection.
Attorneys representing asylum seekers say their clients are being more frequently denied "credible fear" of bodily harm or death in their home countries.
They also say immigration judges are endorsing those decisions on appeal.
Federal authorities say they made changes to prevent fraud within the asylum system. But the result may be speedy deportations for people whose lives may be in danger back home.