Biden Administration Proposes New Asylum Rules For Migrants

The Biden administration is introducing a rule that would prevent migrants from requesting asylum at the Southern border for two years if they haven’t already done so in a nation they passed through.

As a pandemic-era immigration provision is about to expire this summer, the administration is attempting to restrict asylum requests at the U.S.-Mexico border. Yet immigration advocates and Democrats in Congress immediately criticized the policy change.

The proposal, which will officially publish in the Federal Register on Thursday, is reminiscent of Trump-era immigration policies, critics said.

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In its proposal, the Department of Homeland Security said a high number of migrants at the Southern border “would put an enormous strain on already strained resources; risk overcrowding in already crowded U.S. Border Patrol (“USBP”) stations and border ports of entry in ways that pose significant health and safety concerns; and create a situation in which large numbers of migrants — only a small proportion of whom are likely to be granted asylum — are subject to extreme exploitation by the networks that support their movements north.”

A migrant would need to make an appointment at a U.S. port of entry and apply for a legal route in the nation they traveled through before they could request asylum in the U.S.

Families and lone people seeking asylum would be subject to the regulation, but unaccompanied children and teenagers would be an exception.

Biden administration proposes new asylum rules for migrants

Additionally, there are exceptions for those seeking asylum who are in the midst of a medical emergency or are under an immediate threat to their lives.

However, those asylum seekers who “do not establish a reasonable fear of persecution or torture in the country of removal will be promptly removed,” according to a DHS fact sheet. 

Additionally, those who are granted refuge but are forced to leave the country will be prohibited from applying for alternative parole programmes open to citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for five years.

“We are strengthening the availability of legal, orderly pathways for migrants to come to the United States, at the same time proposing new consequences on those who fail to use processes made available to them by the United States and its regional partners,” U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement.

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