By Nick Miroff, The Washington Post

The Trump administration has sent new guidelines to asylum officers, directing them to take a more skeptical and confrontational approach during interviews with migrants seeking refuge in the United States. It is the latest measure aimed at tightening the nation’s legal “loopholes” that Homeland Security officials blame for a spike in border crossings.

According to internal documents and staff emails obtained May 7 by The Washington Post, the asylum officers will more aggressively challenge applicants whose claims of persecution contain discrepancies, and they will need to provide detailed justifications before concluding that an applicant has a well-founded fear of harm if deported to their home country.

The changes require officers to zero in on any gaps between what migrants say to U.S. border agents after they are taken into custody and testimony they provide during the interview process with a trained asylum officer.

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Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Asylum Screeners to Take More Confrontational Approach