Biden Unveils Asylum Reform Amid Mounting Criticism of Border Policies

Multiple outlets reported on May 8 that President Joe Biden plans to propose changes to the asylum process for illegal immigrants.

The Biden administration proposed a new immigration rule on May 9 that would accelerate both the asylum process for migrants as well as authorities’ ability to reject requests by those believed to be linked to terrorists or have committed a serious crime.

The change came amid rising public disapproval of the immigration and border policies of President Joe Biden, with many Americans holding him responsible for the current surge in illegal immigration.

Certain mandatory bars to asylum are already enforced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), such as conviction of a serious crime.

However, under current rules, the question of ineligibility does not come into play until an immigration judge makes a final decision.

Under this proposed rule, asylum officers would be permitted to consider refusing asylum during an initial screening process which the DHS said happens “days” after an individual is encountered.

The DHS released a statement saying that the new rule would “expeditiously remove individuals who pose a threat to the United States.”

The DHS also said that anyone deemed a public safety threat would be taken into custody.

“The proposed rule we have published today is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of the American public by more quickly identifying and removing those individuals who present a security risk and have no legal basis to remain here,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

“We will continue to take action, but fundamentally it is only Congress that can fix what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system.”

In February, Pew Research Center reported that 80 percent of Americans, including 73 percent of Democrats, think the U.S. government has done a bad job when it comes to handling the influx of illegal immigrants.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 27 percent of Americans consider immigration to be the most significant issue confronting the nation.

For three consecutive months, the immigration issue has remained at the top of the list.

As the Senate border deal early this year failed to pass Congress due to opposition from Republicans, President Biden has increasingly come under pressure to use his executive authority to strengthen security at the southern border.

Republican lawmakers blamed the influx of illegal immigrants on President Biden for dismantling the Trump-era policies and failing to take executive action.

On his first day in office, President Biden canceled the national emergency declaration on the border, which called for the construction of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers.

The Biden administration also expanded access to migrants seeking asylum, such as the Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela  (CHNV) parole program and the Customs and Border Patrol’s CBP One mobile app.

Senior administration officials confirmed on May 6 that the parole program expanded “lawful pathways” for 435,00 individuals from those four countries to come to live and work in the United States for two years.

Officials also confirmed that number accounted for more than 50,000 from communist China for the 2023 fiscal year, and nearly 30,000 in the first half of the current fiscal year.

U.S. immigration courts were facing a backlog of more than 3.5 million cases, by mid-April, with 1.2 million related to asylum applications, according to immigration data tracked by Syracuse University.

Individual states have taken matters into their own hands to fight illegal immigration.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered the transfer of illegal immigrants in his state to self-declared “sanctuary cities” like Martha’s Vineyard.

Texas has committed to arresting illegal immigrants and finishing its section of the border wall.

However, The Lone Star State continues to face legal opposition from the federal government.

President Biden and Democrats have repeatedly blamed the Republicans for failing to pass an immigration and border security bill recently negotiated in the Senate.

“I’ve done all I can do,” President Biden told reporters on Jan. 30, when asked about whether he had fully used his executive authority to address the influx into the country.

“Just give me the power. I’ve asked from the very day I got into office. Give me the Border Patrol. Give me the people, the judges. Give me the people who can stop this and make it work right.”

However, Republicans in Washington continue to challenge the president’s perspective and doubt that any significant change toward immigration will happen before the November election.

“If the president wanted to actually secure the border and close it, sure he could,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) told The Epoch Times on May 9.

“He could, but he won’t because he does not want to. I mean, he would lose support from those in his base who want the border open on principle.”

Emel Akan, Lawrence Wilson, and Stacy Robinson contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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