Sunday, June 23, 2024

Biden announces asylum restrictions to ‘control border’ – N.F Times

Washington: President Joe Biden has issued a sweeping executive order aimed at curbing record migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border that have left him politically vulnerable in an election year.

Under the order, which took effect at midnight, officials can quickly remove migrants entering the US illegally without processing their asylum requests.
That will happen once a daily threshold is met and the border is “overwhelmed”, the White House said in a statement.

Rival Republicans say Mr Biden has not gone far enough, while some of the president’s Democratic allies – and the United Nations – have expressed concern.
A spokeswoman for the UN’s refugee agency said those fearing persecution should have access to safe territory.

Mr Biden spoke about the order at an event on Tuesday with several border town mayors. He said, “this action will help us gain control of our border”.

The president criticised Republicans for not passing bipartisan immigration reform in Congress earlier this year – and asked left-wing critics of the new executive action to “be patient”.

“We’re wearing thin right now,” he said. “Doing nothing is not an option.”

The order – which also aims to speed up cases and ease pressure on overburdened US immigration courts – has met criticism from activists.

“It’s unfortunate that politics are driving the immigration conversation in an increasingly restrictive direction,” said Jennie Murray, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum.

More than 6.4 million migrants have been stopped crossing into the US illegally during Joe Biden’s administration.

The arrival numbers have plummeted this year, though experts believe that trend is unlikely to continue.

Mexican media have depicted the move as one of Mr Biden’s toughest policies, though President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sought to downplay the issue, arguing that economic and cultural exchange made a border closure “impossible”.

Authorities in Tijuana asked what would happen to asylum seekers denied entry to the US.

Shelters in the Mexican city could quickly get overcrowded, one local official warned. “We’d start seeing people on the streets, sleeping in tents”.

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