As the United States’ southern Border with Mexico continues to face an influx of illegal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced new rules this week to create incentives for a lawful migration process. The latest development comes as lawmakers in Congress and legal immigration reform groups continue to call on the Biden administration to do more to curb the crisis.
According to the DHS announcement, the agency and the DOJ’s new proposal is to “incentivize the use of new and existing lawful processes and disincentivize dangerous border crossings by placing a new condition on asylum eligibility for those who fail to do so.”
The agency’s announcement described the ongoing displacement of migrants as the “greatest” since World War II, citing the absence of “congressional action to update a very broken, outdated immigration system.”
In response to the federal agencies’ new rules, The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the country’s largest immigration reform group spoke to The Foreign Desk describing the new rules as designed to “cover-up massive asylum abuse.”
“In a remarkable admission, the Biden Department of Homeland Security concedes that the overwhelming majority of migrants pouring across our southern border are attempting to defraud our political asylum system. That crisis is about to get a whole lot worse when Title 42 is canceled, and an estimated 11,000-13,000 illegal migrants are expected to be encountered every day,” FAIR President Dan Stein said.
The DHS statement said that the agency is preparing to lift the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42, created under President Trump, going back to processing every illegal citizen under Title 8 immigration authorities. Before this happens, the agency notes that Title 42 will remain in effect and that individuals trying to enter the U.S. without authorization will “continue to be expelled.”
“We are a nation of immigrants, and we are a nation of laws. We are strengthening the availability of legal, orderly pathways for migrants to come to the U.S., at the same time proposing new consequences on those who fail to use processes made available to them by the U.S. and its regional partners,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the announcement.
“As we have seen time and time again, individuals who are provided a safe, orderly, and lawful path to the U.S. are less likely to risk their lives traversing thousands of miles in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to arrive at our southern border and face the legal consequences of unlawful entry.”
According to FAIR, the DHS’s response is “a 153-page proposed ‘temporary’ rule change designed not to halt the flow of illegal migrants but merely to create a more orderly process for people to abuse our asylum system. In other words, the real objective is not to end large-scale asylum abuse, but rather to get them through the next election cycle.
DOJ Attorney General Merrick Garland was quoted on the DHS website explaining that his agency is “responsible for administering the Nation’s immigration courts and ensuring that claims are adjudicated expeditiously, fairly, and consistent with due process.”
“This proposed rule will establish temporary rules concerning asylum eligibility in those proceedings when the Title 42 order is lifted. We look forward to reviewing the public’s comments on this proposed rule,” said Garland.
Under the new rule, individuals who come into the homeland using illegal routes and avoid the legal processes, including the new ones announced in early January of this year, and the newly created abilities for migrants from any nationality to schedule an arrival time and place at a port of entry, and also fail to pursue protection in the country through which they came on their way to the U.S., would be “subject to a rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility in the U.S. unless they meet specified exceptions.
Migrants who cannot establish a clear and valid claim to protection under the new guidelines by the proposed rule will be “subject to a rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility in the U.S. unless they meet specified exceptions. The DHS notes that the new rule will be open to public comment in the Federal Register for a month.
According to the DHS, this new policy is an “emergency measure” intended to respond to the “elevated levels of encounters anticipated after the lifting of the Title 42 Order.”
The new rule is meant to be temporary for individuals who “entered the U.S. at the Southwest land for 24 months following the rule’s effective date and subsequent to the lifting of the Title 42 order.”
Towards the end of the announcement, the DHS went on to explain that the Biden-Harris administration’s border enforcement measures are “working to reduce irregular migration,” noting that in January of this year, the agency “saw the lowest level of encounters between the ports of entry since February 2021.”
The DHS also noted the administration’s new parole processes for Latino nationals from countries like Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have declined from a seven-day average of 1,231 in early January to 35 at the end of the month.
FAIR points out that along with President Biden’s “illegal exercise of parole authority to admit 30,000 Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan migrants,” the DHS is “going all-in on a mobile app that allows migrants to schedule an appointment at a port of entry.”
The app, as noted by FAIR, is a DHS invention called CBP One, requires migrants to seek asylum at the border and submit private information like biometric data and precise location data.
By using the app instead of going across the border, “nearly all will be waived into the U.S., where they will be allowed to live and work for years even though they are fleeing ‘economic and political instability,’ neither of which is legitimate grounds for asylum.”
The immigration reform group notes that even after the asylum claims are denied, “nearly all will remain,” said FAIR.
According to the DHS, individuals who have followed the process lawfully through February include “more than 26,000 Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians were thoroughly screened and vetted, and received travel authorization.”
The agency said that thousands of Venezuelans who have arrived have been “screened and vetted and received travel authorization from October through the end of January.”
“This is not a serious attempt by the Biden administration to end massive asylum abuse. It’s a serious and transparent attempt to remove the bad, and worsening optics of the migration crisis they created, as the president campaigns for reelection.” FAIR said.