The Trump administration is implementing an experimental pilot program along the southern border designed to fast-track the processing and deportation of asylum seekers from all over the world, requiring them to complete their entire proceedings in a matter of days while in detention.

Immigration attorneys in the El Paso sector of the U.S.-Mexico border only recently became aware of the new initiative, a joint effort between the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, which oversees the nation’s immigration courts. “It should come as no surprise that the president is doing exactly what he said he would do. DHS has partnered with DOJ to conduct a pilot program to expedite the processing of aliens while providing protections and due process for all,” a Homeland Security spokesperson told CBS News. 
According to a Homeland Security official, the pilot program in the El Paso sector is a “whole of government approach” to expedite the processing of single migrant men and migrant families subject to a regulation allowed by the Supreme Court last month that renders most non-Mexican migrants ineligible for asylum when they reach the U.S.The existence of the pilot program was first reported by The Washington Post. The Department of Homeland Security has not publicly revealed specifics about how the secretive program is operating, but El Paso-based immigration lawyers who’ve found out about it say it denies migrants due process, restricts access to counsel and effectively ensures their prompt deportation.According to the attorneys, migrants subject to the pilot initiative, which they believe began this month, are not placed in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, another experimental and controversial policy the administration implemented in late 2018. The program, also referred to as “Remain in Mexico,” has required more than 55,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for the duration of their court proceedings.  Instead, the attorneys say, these asylum-seeking migrants encountered along the El Paso sector are detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and quickly given a fear of persecution screening while in the agency’s custody. The policy is a departure from previous procedures because asylum seekers not returned to Mexico were typically detained by Border Patrol for a few days or weeks and then transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, where they would undergo what is called “credible fear” interviews that are overseen by asylum officers. Lawyers have been typically granted access to clients in ICE facilities to offer them advice before the interviews, but under the pilot program, they are not allowed to see and speak to their clients, who are detained in a Border Patrol station. Detained migrants can request phone calls, but lawyers are not allowed to call their clients in detention.