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Biden Copies Trump

Biden Announces New Executive Order Limiting Asylum at Southern Border: Here’s What to Expect

President Biden issued a highly anticipated executive order on Tuesday, aimed at limiting asylum for migrants who cross the southern border illegally during times of high daily encounters.

Key Details of the Order

  • Implementation Trigger: The order will be activated when the seven-day average of daily border crossings exceeds 2,500 between ports of entry. This threshold means the order will take effect immediately, according to senior administration officials.
  • Proclamation Basis: Biden announced the change under the Immigration and Nationality Act, citing the need for action in the face of congressional inaction on immigration reform.

Response to Congressional Inaction

Senior administration officials emphasized that this executive order is a direct response to the lack of legislative progress on immigration. A bipartisan framework in the Senate was blocked by Republicans for the second time, prompting this executive action.

Officials presented the order as a targeted and forceful shift on asylum rights, distinguishing it from broader, more punitive measures seen during the Trump administration.

Differences from Trump-Era Policies

“There are several differences between the actions that we are taking today and Trump-era policies. The Trump administration attacked almost every facet of the immigration system and did so in a shameful and inhumane way,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Despite these distinctions, the new order is expected to face legal challenges and criticism, particularly from those who believe it mirrors the Trump administration’s approach to asylum restrictions.

Key Provisions of the Order

  • Entry Refusal: The new policy allows the refusal of entry to most foreign nationals who cross the border without prior authorization. Border officials will stop conducting credible fear interviews for asylum claims and work to quickly expel those who cross illegally.
  • Penalties: Migrants expelled under the order will face a minimum five-year reentry ban and potential criminal prosecution.
  • Expedited Deportations: Mexico has agreed to accept nationals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, as well as its own nationals, in expedited deportations.
  • Resource Concerns: There are concerns about whether the Biden administration has sufficient resources to quickly expel or detain migrants, potentially leading to more releases into the interior with deportation orders rather than asylum claims.
  • Repatriation Efforts: The administration is working to enhance capabilities to return nationals from other countries, including extracontinental migrants from places such as China.

Exceptions and International Obligations

The order includes exceptions for unaccompanied minors and allows for credible fear interviews in cases of persecution or potential torture. Officials stressed that the policy adheres to U.S. international obligations regarding asylum seekers and refugees, though this will likely be contested in court.

Enhanced Enforcement Measures

The administration plans to bolster enforcement against smuggling networks and organizations profiting from migration. This includes revoking U.S. visas for certain foreign government and corporate officials and expediting immigration cases for recent arrivals to swiftly expel those without valid asylum claims.

Immediate Implementation

The order is set to take effect immediately, given that the current seven-day average of daily encounters at the border exceeds 2,500. This threshold is based on bipartisan negotiations in the Senate, although the order could be lifted once the average drops below 1,500.

Political Context

The order comes amid an election year where immigration is a key issue. While officials did not directly tie the timing to the election, they highlighted congressional Republicans’ failure to act as a driving factor for the executive action.

Administration’s Stance

“If Congress refuses to act, and if congressional Republicans refuse to act, the president is prepared to do so,” one official said. The administration previously pushed for a bipartisan bill in the Senate to fund additional Border Patrol agents, technology to combat drug trafficking, and more asylum officers, but Republicans blocked the bill twice.

Republican Response

Republicans criticized Biden for delaying executive action and argued that the new measure is insufficient and overdue. They have consistently blamed the president for border security issues, despite his administration’s efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

This executive order represents a significant shift in asylum policy, reflecting the administration’s response to ongoing challenges at the southern border and the broader political landscape.

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