President Biden’s New Executive Order on Asylum Seekers

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In a significant policy shift, President Biden has issued an executive order that will turn away migrants seeking asylum who cross the southern border illegally during times of high volume. This new measure comes into effect immediately, as the current seven-day average of daily border crossings exceeds the newly established threshold of 2,500 encounters. The order, proclaimed under the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows U.S. border officials to refuse entry to most foreign nationals crossing the border without prior authorization. This policy aims to manage and control the surge of migrants more effectively, ensuring the border system is not overwhelmed.

What Are the Key Provisions of the Asylum Executive Order?

The core of the new policy includes several crucial provisions. Firstly, when the daily average of encounters exceeds 2,500 over a week, border officials will cease conducting credible fear interviews for asylum claims. Instead, they will focus on the expedited removal of migrants who cross between ports of entry. Those expelled under this order will face a minimum five-year ban on re-entry into the United States and may also face criminal prosecution.

An essential aspect of this policy is cooperation with Mexico, which has agreed to accept nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and its own citizens under expedited deportation procedures.

Additionally, the Biden administration is expanding its capabilities to deport other foreign nationals, such as those from outside the Americas, like China. Exceptions to this policy will be made for unaccompanied minors and individuals who demonstrate a credible fear of persecution or torture if returned to their home country.

What Are the Implications and Challenges of This Policy?

This new policy raises several implications and challenges for the U.S. immigration system. One significant concern is whether the Biden administration has sufficient resources to promptly deport or detain migrants barred from asylum. Additionally, more migrants may be released into the interior of the country with deportation orders instead of asylum claims, making it harder to apply for work permits.

The policy will remain active until the average daily encounters drop below 1,500, a target that may be challenging to achieve given historical data.

In fact, the last time the average was below this number was in July 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the swift resolution of immigration cases, the departments of Justice and Homeland Security will work together to expedite the processing and removal of individuals without valid asylum claims.

If you have further questions about this recent shift in policy, or you have any other immigration concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the Lightman Law Firm today.