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The group of Democrats says Biden’s proposed asylum ban is illegal

WASHINGTON – A dozen Senate Democrats have denounced a forced sweep Border restrictions President Biden hopes to curb immigration, telling the administration in an official statement Monday that moving forward with the proposal would violate U.S. asylum laws.

The Biden administration’s proposed regulation would disqualify non-Mexican immigrants from asylum if they cross the southern border illegally after failing to seek asylum in another country en route to U.S. administration officials, but they have argued that the influx of migrants would increase if the policy is not implemented. Record levels later this spring, when an epidemic-era border restriction known as Title 42 is set to expire.

But a group of Democratic senators called the proposed asylum restrictions “unlawful” and “counterproductive,” joining thousands of immigrant advocates and organizations, including the U.N. refugee agency, in formally urging the administration to immediately withdraw them.

The proposal, Democratic lawmakers wrote in their comments against the proposed rule, is a “revised version” of a nearly complete ban on asylum that the Trump administration briefly implemented in 2020, before a federal court overturned it.

“While we support the administration’s goal of managing immigration at the US-Mexico border by creating new efficiencies in the asylum system, this rule violates our legal obligation to protect refugees fleeing persecution and usurps congressional authority by adding illegal bars to asylum eligibility,” Senator added

Public comments opposing Mr. Biden’s proposal were led by Senators Bob Menendez and Alex Padilla, and also signed by Senators Ed Markey, Jeff Merkle, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Ben Cardin, and Ben Cardin. Ray Lujan and Maji Hirono.

Sharp rebukes from a dozen Democratic senators and allies in the White House on most policy issues underscore the complicated political situation Mr. Biden finds himself in two years into his presidency amid an unprecedented immigration crisis at the southern border, where migrants are pouring in. In greater numbers and from more countries than at any time in US history.

New Biden administration immigration rules reduce asylum options

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO – JANUARY 09: Immigrant families from Venezuela return to Mexico after being deported from the United States on January 09, 2023 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

/ Getty Images

After border arrivals peaked in late 2022, Mr. Biden announced a review of his administration’s strategy for managing immigration in early January. To prevent illegal crossings, officials have expanded the number of countries whose citizens can be quickly returned to Mexico under Title 42 if they enter the United States illegally.

US border officials have deported hundreds of thousands of migrants under Title 42 since the Trump administration introduced the public health law in March 2020. The US can only deport Mexicans and some Central Americans to Mexico before Mexican officials agree to accept Cubans, Haitians. , Nicaraguans and Venezuelans in January.

Mr. Biden’s administration has simultaneously expanded immigrants’ access to the country legally, allocating 30,000 spots a month for immigrants to come to the United States with American sponsors, and allowing vulnerable migrants in Mexico to secure an appointment to cross the official border with a phone. App

With the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency set to end Title 42 on May 11, the administration plans to prevent immigrants from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border through proposed asylum restrictions, which would allow officials to deport more quickly. Those who cannot prove it are exempt from the rule.

However, Mr. Biden’s recent strategy has led so far A sharp drop It has faced increasing numbers of immigrants attempting to enter the United States illegally across the Rio Grande and other unofficial crossings. Significant criticism From progressives and Republicans, though for different reasons.

Immigrant advocates and some Democrats have argued that the new strategy rests on restrictive asylum policies enacted by former President Donald Trump. Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, say the administration does not have the legal authority to accept thousands of immigrants each month outside the regular visa system.

Pointing to a decline in illegal border crossings since the January policy change, the Biden administration portrayed the Republicans’ criticism as inconsistent with their calls to reduce illegal immigration.

In response to progressive criticism, the administration has refuted accusations that its strategy resembles Trump-era policies, highlighting new legal immigration channels. Its proposed asylum restrictions, it argued, contain greater humanitarian concessions than the Trump administration’s efforts to disqualify immigrants from US sanctuary.

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