Biden signs executive order restricting border crossing

Migrants stand beside a razor wire fence as a member of the Texas National Guard stands guard on the banks of the Rio Bravo river, the border between the United States and Mexico, with the purpose of reinforcing border security and inhibiting the crossing of migrants to the United States, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico August 28, 2023. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

President Joe Biden unveiled a new executive action that is arguably the most restrictive border policy by a Democratic president in recent history. The aggressive move authorizes U.S. immigration officials to temporarily shut down asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters tops 2,500 between official ports of entry, according to a senior administration official. This means that large numbers of migrants can be deported without processing their asylum claims.

The partial ban on asylum claims will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Regular asylum processing will only be restored 14 days after the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the weekly average of daily illegal border crossings has dipped below 1,500. The proclamation could be activated again if the weekly average of daily crossings between ports of entry surpasses 2,500.

The Biden Administration says the action makes it easier for immigration officers to remove people who are in the US illegally. “If an individual chooses not to use our legal pathways, if they choose to come without permission and against the law, they’ll be restricted from receiving asylum and staying in the United States,” the president said in remarks at the White House.

Immigration is one of the key voter issues ahead of November’s presidential election, and both Democrats and Republicans are seeking to prove their credentials on the topic. Trump’s campaign team has criticized Biden’s action, and a migrant advocate group flagged it will challenge the new policies in court.

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