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Biden’s New Immigration Order Restricts Asylum Claims At The Border

Biden's New Immigration Order Restricts Asylum Claims At The Border

On Tuesday, President Biden announced a major shift in U.S. immigration policy by issuing an executive action that allows immigration officials to deport large numbers of migrants who enter the country against regulations without considering their requests for asylum. This measure represents one of the most restrictive border policies enacted by a Democratic president in recent history.

Immediate And Conditional Measures

Effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the partial ban on asylum claims will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the weekly average of daily illegal border crossings has fallen below 1,500 for 14 consecutive days. Conversely, the ban could be reinstated if crossings exceed 2,500 per day. The administration justifies the policy by citing the overwhelming backlog of over 3 million pending asylum applications and states that this backlog incentivizes unlawful migration.

Operational Details And Exemptions

Under this new order, migrants crossing between legal entry points will be barred from asylum and promptly deported to Mexico or their home countries. Exceptions will be made for those who express a fear of persecution or torture, though they will only be qualified for lesser forms of protection and must pass stringent interviews.

The enforcement measures will not impact:

  • unaccompanied children
  • individuals with urgent medical needs
  • those escaping immediate danger
  • migrants who are using legal channels of entry, such as the CBP One app

Legal And Political Reactions

The administration justifies the policy using a 1950s law, Section 212(f), which allows the president to suspend the entry of foreigners deemed “detrimental” to U.S. interests. This law was notably used by the Trump administration to restrict immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already proclaimed plans to challenge the order in court to argue that a ban on asylum is illegal, as evidenced by past judicial rulings against similar Trump-era policies.

Broader Implications And Criticism

The policy is a big shift in U.S. immigration strategy that is driven by increasing political pressure and record levels of migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrant apprehensions have decreased by more than 50% this year when compared to last year’s all-time highs. It is partially due to Mexico’s efforts to curb migration to the U.S. border.

Critics, including Andrea Flores, a former Biden administration official, warned that the president’s ability to suspend asylum claims could pave the way for future presidents to shut down other immigration pathways arbitrarily.

Republican lawmakers have dismissed the executive order as an election-year tactic that aims at boosting Biden’s sagging poll numbers, but fails to address the root causes of the immigration crisis. “President Biden’s Executive Order is nothing more than a desperate political stunt,” stated House Republican leaders.