Asylum officers are required by regulation to conduct the reasonable fear interview and make the reasonable fear determination within 10 days after the case has been referred to the asylum office, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If an individual is serving a lengthy prison sentence, the asylum officer will not conduct the reasonable fear interview until the individual has nearly completed the sentence or is otherwise soon to be released to DHS custody. See 8 CFR § 208.31(b). In most cases, individuals subject to reasonable fear interviews will be detained.
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