Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Biden Sees Pushback Towards New Immigration Policy that Restricts Illegal Border Crossings

President Biden recently announced new immigration restrictions to address one of his administration’s most politically vulnerable issues in immigration control while the nation’s focus is on the Republican disarray in the House.

The restrictions will expand Biden’s authority to grant legal entry to tens of thousands of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Haitians into the country each month. However, migrants who attempt to enter the country without authorization will risk expulsion to Mexico, as the administration plans to expand its use of Title 42, a public health immigration policy.

U.S. officials say up to 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela would be admitted via “parole” each month, as long as they have a U.S. financial sponsor. The previous parole program would only accept Venezuelans and capped the total number at 24,000. The changes to the program will mean fewer migrants entering the country illegally and more unauthorized border crossers sent back to Mexico, which has agreed to accept 30,000 returns a month.

Migrants accepted through the parole program can live and work in the United States for two years. Still, those who cross unlawfully into Panama, Mexico, or the U.S. after Biden’s announcement is ineligible.

The Venezuela parole program has reduced illegal crossings by 76 percent, according to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Biden’s new policy changes will likely draw challenges from immigration advocacy groups. U.S. law states anyone can apply for asylum if they step foot on U.S. soil, but people are misusing those laws to cross the border to work, which is not grounds for humanitarian protection.

“The actions we are announcing today will make things better, but will not fix the border problem completely,” Biden said in a speech from the White House. “Until Congress has acted, I can act where I have legal capacity to do so.”

As his first trip to the border as president, Biden will stop in El Paso on Sunday to see “peace and security” at the border and is “going to see what’s going on,” and will likely cause an international and political stir. The disarray among Republican members of the House, however, has provided some cover for the White House.

The Washington Post