President Joe Biden’s administration will limit access to asylum at the US border with Mexicowith restrictions that will go into effect when health regulations that allowed nearly all illegal immigrants to be expelled are lifted on Thursday. Those who do not use legal routes to enter the United States are not eligible for asylum.The Secretary of Homeland Security explained, Alejandro Mallorcas, upon realization of this new rule that will take effect on Thursday at 23:59. At that time The so-called Heading 42 expiresa rule enacted during the pandemic that allows for the automatic expulsion of almost all those who arrive in the country without a visa or documents necessary for entry.
Details of the new legislation
Immigrants who are “ineligible” will be deported unless they show a “reasonable fear of persecution”. In the country to which they will be expelled, said Mayorkas, who added that they have the option to refute the presumption of “ineligibility for asylum” in “very limited circumstances”. The government forces migrants to request an asylum appointment through the CBP One mobile app or to process it in the countries they are transiting through before arriving in the United States.
There are a few exceptions to the asylum restrictions: if they are unable to access or use the mobile application due to a language barrier, illiteracy, or technical failure, if they applied and were denied in at least one other country, or in exceptional “major” circumstances, state Homeland Security (DHS) in a statement. It will not apply to unaccompanied children.
When the government proposed this rule last February, NGOs compared it to the measure that former Republican President Donald Trump tried to enact in 2019 to prevent migrant caravans from arriving. The courts prevented him. From its activation in 2020 until the end of March 2023Address 42 It has been invoked nearly 2.8 million times to expel immigrantsAccording to Customs and Border Protection.
“We are making it very clear that our borders are not open, illegal crossing is illegal,” and those who do not qualify will be sent back “quickly,” Mayorkas said. On Tuesday night, Biden himself admitted he expected a complicated situation. “It’s going to be messy for a while.”As he claimed BidenIn recent months, her government has taken a moderate stance and proposed what it calls “legal paths.”
The US administration is trying to convince immigrants to resort to these methods, such as making an appointment through the phone application, resorting to a family reunification permit or taking advantage of a program that allows 30,000 people to enter per month from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti for humanitarian reasons.
Sensitive situation at the border
Minister Mayorcas said the government expects “large numbers” of illegal immigrants to be stopped at its border with Mexico, noted that Homeland Security personnel and border facilities and communities are “under incredible pressure,” and predicted that the plan launched by the government would yield results, but It will take time.
They make things more difficult for you.He told AFP Michael, a 35-year-old Venezuelan construction worker who prefers not to give his last name while trying in vain to make an appointment through a mobile app from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Once the health rule expires, the immigration policy will be exclusively governed by Title 8, the immigration standard that has been used for decades that allows anyone entering the country without a visa or required documentation to be expelled.
Only in Tijuana, on the border with California, thousands of immigrants of different nationalities, including entire families and children, crowd between the border walls. Near the closing of Address 42, Thursday evening, to seek humanitarian asylum in the United States. Since last weekend, the camp has been made up of people from Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Haiti and Honduras, but also from countries as far away as Turkey and Bosnia, as well as Mexicans from the southern states of Michoacan and Guerrero, where organized crime has displaced them.
To meet the challenge that lies ahead with Title 42 commentary, Washington has more than 24,000 border security personnel, along with 1,100 new Border Patrol coordinators. It will also include hundreds of police from other Department of Homeland Security agencies, 400 volunteers and 1,000 people responsible for so-called “reasonable fear” interviews, which determine whether a person is likely to be persecuted or tortured if returned home.
Several NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch, sharply criticized the rule when it was in the public comment stage, calling it a “violation of human rights and international law”. Biden, who is running for re-election in the 2024 presidential election, believes this is the only way to deal with immigration, because Congress does not approve of immigration policy.
The fight continues in Congress
Republicans accuse the Democratic president of losing “operational control” of the border They are negotiating to try to vote Thursday in the House of Representatives on a proposal that would restrict asylum and expand the border wall. In any case, it is unlikely to get the green light in the Senate, with a Democratic majority, and Biden has already warned that he will veto it.
For their part, Democratic lawmakers introduced a different bill on Wednesday that seeks to expand legal pathways to entry and stay in the United States. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, of Mexican descent, said in a press conference that the bill in question “eliminates delays in work visas, which will reduce barriers at ports of entry and stimulate job growth.”