Executive order restricting asylum at US-Mexico border to be signed by Biden • Nevada Current

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Tuesday that will allow him to partially suspend asylum applications at the U.S.-Mexico border when the daily number of unauthorized crossings reaches a threshold of 2,500 migrants.

“We expect the authority to take effect immediately,” a senior administration official said Tuesday on a call with reporters previewing the executive order. It would not be permanent and would only apply to the southern border, including the southwestern land border and southern coastal borders.

The White House has faced the largest number of migrant encounters at the southern border in two decades. Moreover, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made it a top issue for voters. Biden’s move marks his most drastic action on immigration during his administration.

The order makes three changes to asylum law under Title 8 of the Immigration and Nationality Act when that 2,500-migrant threshold is reached, a senior administration official said. The first is that a non-citizen who crosses the border without permission is not eligible for asylum.

The second is that any non-citizen who crosses the border while the order is in effect and is being processed for removal will only be referred to a credible fear interview with an asylum officer “if they manifest fear of return to their country or country of removal or express. , a fear of persecution or torture, or an intention to seek asylum,” a senior government official said.

And the third is raising the standard for credible fear interviews to a “reasonable likelihood of persecution or torture,” which is “a new, significantly higher standard than currently applied at the border,” a senior administration official said.

“Taken together, these measures will significantly increase the speed and scope of consequences for those who cross the border unlawfully or without authorization and allow the Departments to more quickly remove individuals who have no legal basis to remain in the United States ,” says one senior. said an administrative official.

The order, versions of which were reported before the White House announcement, drew criticism from both parties.

Republicans such as U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana called it a “weak executive order,” while progressive Democrats labeled it a partial asylum ban.

A senior administration official argued that the executive order is different from the Trump administration’s immigration policy because the order “will only apply during times of major encounters.”

Biden, who campaigned on asylum protections in 2020, is relying on the same presidential authority — Section 212(f) of the Immigration Nationality Act — that the Trump administration used to justify various immigration-related restrictions, such as the travel ban on predominantly Muslim to land.

The Biden order would also allow border officials to return to Mexico certain individuals who cross the border without authorization — nationals of Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela.

There will be exemptions for lawful permanent residents, unaccompanied minors, people with an “acute medical emergency” or an extreme threat to life or safety, and for victims of human trafficking, a senior government official said.

A senior government official said this temporary order would end when there are seven consecutive days of fewer than 1,500 migrants moving between ports of entry each day. Once this has been determined, the order will expire within 14 calendar days.

The Biden administration has considered moving forward with the executive order after an immigration deal brokered by the White House and Senate earlier this year fell apart after Trump spoke out against it. Republicans quickly fell into line. That deal would have given Biden, among other things, the authority to close all asylum applications once encounters reached 5,000 people in a week or 8,500 in a day.

A senior government official said the 2,500 threshold was chosen to be similar to the deal secured in the Senate.

“For Joe Biden, the safety of American families must always come first,” senior deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a memo.

“That’s why today the President is announcing new historic executive actions to prevent migrants who unlawfully cross our southern border from receiving asylum. Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, law enforcement will gain new capabilities that Republicans in Congress cannot block.”

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