The Biden administration proposed new restrictions on asylum seekers on Tuesday, saying it wanted to prevent an influx of migrants at its southern border once measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted.
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The new rules wanted by the government would require asylum seekers to apply in advance and not after arriving in the United States, otherwise they would be considered ineligible for asylum.
These rules, posted on the Federal Register for comment for 30 days before being applied, appear to revert in part to the harsh regime introduced by Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, which was ultimately overturned by courts.
But the Biden administration argues that in the absence of action from Congress, it’s the only way to manage the border, which up to 200,000 people try to cross every month, most asking for permission. asylum.
“This administration will not allow massive chaos and disorder at the border because of Congress’ failure to act,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
The rules would require migrants wanting to come to the United States to apply for asylum online, through the official CBP One app, and request an appointment to see US officials, or else apply for asylum first in a country they cross to arrive at the American border.
They would apply a system already in place for migrants from Ukraine, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti.
They are to be put in place once a pandemic-related measure – dubbed “Title 42” and allowing the immediate deportation of migrants without visas, even potential asylum seekers – is lifted. This is scheduled for May 11.
According to officials, the new rules will be temporary and will expire after 24 months. But they did not say what they would be replaced by.
The proposed measures have been strongly criticized by migrant rights advocates.
They will “close the door to countless refugees seeking safety and protection in the United States,” said Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America.
“This policy is illegal, immoral and will have a terrifying impact on children, women and men seeking safety,” she added.