Joe Biden’s Border Policy, Explained
The Democrat would make it easier for some refugees to apply, but disqualify illegal aliens from asylum.
Immigrants who enter the United States illegally may soon be disqualified from applying for asylum.
President Joe Biden proposed the change after a record illegal border crossings were counted in the fiscal year that ended in September: 2.4 million, up from 1.7 million a year earlier.
By refusing asylum to some immigrants altogether, Biden would go further than his Republican predecessor. Donald Trump returned applicants to Mexico, where they had to wait for months or even years while their asylum request was reviewed.
Biden would also speed up deportations of illegal aliens who have not applied for asylum.
Unlike Trump, the Democrat is at the same time making it easier for specific groups of refugees to come to America.
Polls compel Biden to act
Illegal immigration undermines public support for legal immigration.
Half of Americans compare the record border crossings to an “invasion”. According to Gallup, only 28 percent are satisfied with the current level of immigration; the lowest in a decade. 63 percent are dissatisfied. (Although 8 percent are dissatisfied because they think immigration is too low.)
59 percent of voters told CBS News last year they feared Biden’s Democratic Party would “open the US-Mexico border.”
Why border crossings are up
That was never an accurate perception, but Biden repealed the most restrictive of Trump’s immigration policies:
Requiring asylum seekers to “remain in Mexico” while their application was pending.
Separating migrant children from their parents.
Banning nationals of various majority-Muslim countries, Burma, Eritrea, North Korea and Tanzania from traveling to the United States.
Biden also upgraded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, written as a policy memorandum under Barack Obama to allow migrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the country, to a regulation.
And he extended “Temporary Protected Status” to nationals of Afghanistan, Burma, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ukraine and Venezuela, allowing some 712,000 migrants to remain in the United States without legal residence or a visa.
Even proponents of liberal immigration reform, like Kathleen Bush-Joseph and Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute, recognize that the increase in illegal border crossings “may have been partly prompted by the administration’s actions elsewhere to shield immigrants from deportation and provide humanitarian protections, as migrants expected a warm welcome in the United States after four years of Trump.”
In addition to those “pull” factors, there are “push” factors in South America. The head of Customs and Border Protection at the time, Chris Magnus, last year blamed the “failing communist regimes” of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela for causing hundreds of thousands of their citizens to flee.
Whereas previous emigration waves were caused by violence in the “Northern Triangle” of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, more recently an estimated one in three migrants entering the United States illegally have been Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans fleeing economic deprivation.
Deportations are down
Biden has instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to prioritize deporting recent border crossers and migrants who might pose a threat to public safety. That is a change from under Trump, when agents searched the whole country for illegal aliens.
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