Vulnerable Biden tries to straddle both sides with new asylum rules

Last Updated: June 18, 2024By

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Biden’s New Asylum Rules: What You Need to Know

The Biden administration announced changes to asylum rules on Thursday. These changes aim to speed up deportations and handle the growing number of people arriving at the US-Mexico border. The idea is to improve security and deal with the case backlog faster.

What’s New?

According to Biden, these changes are limited and will only impact a small group of people. Specifically, those who have committed serious crimes or pose a threat to national security. This is a careful move by Biden as he faces significant political pressure, especially with immigration being a hot topic for voters.

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Political Pressures

Republicans blame Biden for the record number of migrants at the border. Donald Trump, likely the Republican nominee, wants to conduct mass deportations without much regard for legal protections. Recently, Republicans even tried to impeach Biden’s homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, claiming he hasn’t enforced immigration laws properly. They also used the tragic murder of a Georgia college student by an undocumented immigrant to push for tougher measures.

Even some centrist Democrats want stricter controls at the border. On the other hand, progressives and immigration advocates urge Biden to do more to protect immigrants and improve asylum seekers’ conditions.

How It Works

Currently, asylum officers check an asylum seeker’s background during the interview process. The new rules would allow officers at the border to turn some people away quickly, sometimes within hours or days, if they don’t pass an initial “credible fear” screening. This change would only affect about 2 to 3% of asylum seekers, according to the administration.

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Real Impact?

Data shows that immigrants, including asylum seekers, are less likely to commit crimes than US-born citizens. Migrants who seek asylum already face strict monitoring through ankle monitors and regular check-ins while they wait for their cases to be heard, often for years. Critics argue this new rule won’t solve the problem and might make things worse for those with legitimate asylum claims.

Faisal Al-Juburi from Raíces, an immigrant support group, believes the rule will only worsen what he calls a “manufactured crisis.” Laurence Benenson from the National Immigration Forum also worries that legitimate asylum seekers might be unfairly turned away.

Bigger Picture

There’s concern that these new rules won’t significantly improve the humanitarian crisis at the border. Overwhelmed processing centers and long waits in harsh conditions are common as people fleeing war, violence, and poverty seek refuge. Advocates have long called for more resources, like hiring more immigration judges and providing legal representation for migrants, to help speed up the process.

Despite accusations of being too lenient on immigration, Biden has resumed border-wall construction and increased electronic monitoring of asylum seekers. He also proposed new rules to restrict asylum for those who didn’t seek protection in another country first. These efforts show Biden trying to balance between strict enforcement and humane treatment of migrants.

Al-Juburi argues that the new rules might unfairly target those persecuted by their governments, making it harder for them to get asylum in the US.

In summary, while Biden’s new asylum rules aim to address immigration challenges, they face significant criticism and may not significantly change the situation at the border.

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