Editor’s note: Biden’s proposed asylum rules are a misguided attempt to deter migrants

Biden administration proposed rules for migrant asylum seekers will severely restrict people fleeing devastated countries from seeking protection in the United States. The rules will limit who can apply for asylum by setting onerous requirements that will limit the right to asylum during a historic global migration.

This is a misguided, inhuman attempt to keep migrants from arriving at the US-Mexico border that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for asylum seekers to exercise their right to come to the border and apply for asylum.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice released guidelines last week ahead of a potential halt to Section 42, the Trump-era public health order that allows US border officials to remove most migrant asylum seekers. The COVID-19 public health order ends May 11, and with it, possibly a Section 42-based policy that listed the coronavirus threat as grounds for barring migrants from entering. Biden sought to end this policy, but was forbidden to do so primarily due to legal problems from the Republicans.

The administration’s proposed rules would require migrants to first seek asylum in another country en route to the United States or make an appointment through CBPOne AppUS government app riddled with problems. (This requires pre-registration for each person, making it more difficult for families, who then have to decide whether to separate or wait indefinitely until places are allocated for each family member.) United States The only exception may be migrants, who may submit exceptional circumstancesSuch as a medical emergency or an extreme and immediate threat to their life or safety, such as an imminent threat of rape, kidnapping, torture or murder. The guidelines are impractical for people fleeing persecution and effectively deprive them of their legal avenues to seek asylum.

The rules proposed by the Biden administration will replace one inhumane policy with another, despite the fact that the president promise create a more streamlined asylum process that does not cause unnecessary human suffering. The United States needs to control entry at its borders, but it must do so humanely.

Under international law, people have the right to seek asylum if they fear persecution or harm in their country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. The entire asylum application process is rigorous and can take years to be approved due to delays in the immigration courts. In 2022, US authorities granted less than 14% of asylum applications. Those who are not eligible for asylum may be deported.

The challenge for US officials is to find a way to deal with the unprecedented number of migrants seeking asylum due to growing political and economic instability, especially in undemocratic countries such as Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua. Unstable conditions in these countries forced migrants to leave their homes, which makes up much of the story 2.2 million cases of border patrols identified as detentions or expulsions along the US-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022. In comparison, from fiscal year 1983 to 2006, Border Patrol had about 1.2 million appointments per year. safety.

Of course, Biden’s difficulties with securing the US-Mexico border are exacerbated by the influx of migrants. He inherited an immigration system crippled by callous policies during the Trump presidency that effectively closed the door on most asylum seekers and separated migrant children from their parents upon arrival in the United States, including Section 42. But now he follows a similar strategy: restricting eligibility for proposed asylum rules. It’s a plan that pretty much replicates at the shelter introduced by the Trump administration, which was rejected by the courts.

Biden officials perversely quote the new rules, which will come into effect after a 30-day public comment period and expire in two years, as a form of deterrence, noting that the border guard’s fears faded as soon as migrants learned that Section 42 went into effect. They say these policies protect migrants by removing incentives to travel to the United States, but this reasoning ignores the fact that migrants will continue to perform near-impossible feats in search of safe housing and work.

Biden is facing serious political pressure to deal effectively with the historic number of migrants at the border. Ultimately, Congress must pass legislation to overhaul the overburdened and inefficient immigration system. In the meantime, it can help create a more streamlined asylum-seeker case system by enhancing the capacity of border agencies to deal with incoming migrants and immigration courts to handle cases quickly. This would be a more humane way to fulfill the country’s legal obligation to asylum seekers than to disciplinary remove them from the country or deny their case.

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