President Joe Biden has finally decided to address the unprecedented crisis at the border, unveiling on Thursday a plan that would, effective immediately, turn away Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguan migrants who attempt to illegally cross into the States from Mexico, only to welcome from the very same three nations — plus Venezuela — 30,000 legal immigrants per month.
It’s a move that attempts to prepare for the end of the Trump-era Title 42 regulation that was put in place to limit the number of migrants who could enter the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it appears to be pleasing very few from either side of the political aisle.
“The actions we’re announcing today will make things better … will make things better but will not fix the border problem completely,” Biden said as he announced the new measures.
Sen Bob Menendez, (D-N.J.) begs to differ.
“The Biden Administration’s decision to expand Title 42, a disastrous and inhumane relic of the Trump Administration’s racist immigration agenda, is an affront to restoring rule of law at the border,” he fumed in a statement.
“Additionally, their decision to create an unlawful transit ban erases the words and values etched on the Statue of Liberty,” he continued. “I am deeply disturbed that instead of working with Congress to develop a solution to the multiple humanitarian crises that are fueling mass migration in our hemisphere, the Administration is circumventing immigration law which will exacerbate chaos and confusion at the Southern border.”
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 5, 2023
Under the new policy, “up to 30,000 people, who have a sponsor and can pass background checks, can come to the U.S. to work for two years, under a process known as ‘parole,'” the Daily Mail reports.
Those wishing to come to the states can apply online and receive advance approval.
“Do not just show up at the border,” Biden said. “Stay where you are and apply legally from there.”
If approved, migrants can use a handy-dandy app to schedule an appointment for their arrival at a port of entry.
The new plan builds on one that was implemented to deal with Venezuelans trying to escape the unrest in their nation, which, according to officials, cut the number of legal crossings by Venezuelans by 90 percent.
A similar program is used to cope with those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Those Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans who attempt to cross the borders of Panama, Mexico, or the United States illegally would be banned from applying for the new pathway and will be subject to being returned to Mexico, which has agreed to accept up to 30,000 migrants from those four nations.
In a press conference, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stressed this point.
“This is important: If individuals from these counties attempt to cross the U.S. border without authorization, or the Mexico or Panama borders, after today they will not be eligible for this new legal pathway,” he said. “So, the message is clear: Individuals should stay where they are and apply for these processes from there.”
This is uh exactly what's happening. https://t.co/FH37CjSn3x
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 5, 2023
With Title 42’s inevitable end, those, such as unaccompanied minors, who are not currently covered under its provisions are processed under Title 8, which states: “An alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrives in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General, is inadmissible.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released on Thursday a fact sheet to explain the new policy.
“For those processed under Title 8, we are increasing and enhancing our use of expedited removal, which allows for the prompt removal of those who do not claim a fear of persecution or torture or are determined not to have a credible fear after an interview with an asylum officer, in accordance with established procedures,” it reads. “This enhanced expedited removal process will include: dedicating additional resources including personnel, transportation, and facilities; optimizing processes across DHS and [the Department of Justice]; and working with the State Department and countries in the region to increase repatriations.”
The plan, which was designed to quiet criticism from Republicans and calm Democrats who claim Biden moved too slowly to lift Title 42, is being slammed on all sides, with conservatives arguing that the Biden administration gave no details on funding and ignored those who dodge the overwhelmed border patrols.
“The Biden Administration is arguably more focused on monitoring Twitter posts than catching suspected TERRORISTS crossing the southern border,” tweeted the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.
The Biden Administration is arguably more focused on monitoring Twitter posts than catching suspected TERRORISTS crossing the southern border.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 5, 2023
“His continued attempts to deflect responsibility for the disastrous and deadly crisis are just as dishonest as the non-sensical ‘solutions’ he put forward in this speech today,” said Mark Morgan, former acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner, according to the Daily Mail. “Rather than be honest with the American people and set forth a strategy to reverse course to defend our nation’s borders, he doubled-down on his failed open-border policies.”
Among Democrats, the DHS’ announcement that it would seek a new Trump-inspired regulation that would reject those migrants who traveled through a third country on their way to the U.S. border without attempting to seek asylum there is causing a meltdown in Biden’s own party.
Those migrants who violate the rule will be ineligible to apply for entry into the States for five years, prompting Democratic Sens. Bob Menéndez (N.J.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), and Alex Padilla (Calif.) to fire off a joint statement condemning the proposal, which they say amounts to a “transit ban.”
“We are also concerned about the administration’s new transit ban regulation that will disregard our obligations under international law by banning families from seeking asylum at the border, likely separating families and stranding migrants fleeing persecution and torture in countries unable to protect them,” the group said.
Menendez echoed the sentiments in his solo statement.
“While I’m glad the Biden Administration will be increasing access to parole for an extremely limited number of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Haitians, this benefit will exclude migrants fleeing violence and persecution who do not have the ability or economic means to qualify for the new parole process,” he said. “Ultimately, this use of the parole authority is merely an attempt to replace our asylum laws, and thousands of asylum seekers waiting to present their cases will be hurt as a result.”
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