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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Biden takes page from Trump playbook to curb migration

People entering the US illegally won’t be able to seek asylum under new executive order

US President Joe Biden has banned migrants from applying for asylum after crossing into the country illegally. It comes months ahead of an election in which security at the southern border is likely to be a major issue for voters.

The executive action bypasses the US Congress. In his announcement on Tuesday, Biden accused his Republican challenger, former President Donald Trump, of pressuring lawmakers into not dealing with the border crisis for electoral gains.

“I would have preferred to address this issue through bipartisan legislation, because that’s the only way to actually get the kind of system we have now – that’s broken – fixed,” Biden told reporters.

The restriction will remain in place until average daily crossings stay below 1,500 for at least three weeks. It will kick in again if they exceed 2,500 per day over a week. US Border Guard arrests averaged 4,300 per day in April, according to the most recent government statistics cited by Reuters.

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File photo: US Border Patrol picks up migrants who crossed the border from Mexico near San Diego, California, May 26, 2024.
US to send migrants to Europe – CBS

The measure has been introduced using the same presidential authority that Trump invoked to restrict immigration in 2017, when he banned people from several Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the US, and again in 2018 to bar asylum petitions by migrants coming to the US illegally.

The White House has blamed lack of resources for the ongoing situation, saying the authorities needed more funding and personnel to police the border and process asylum petitions. Some 3 million applications are currently pending.

“The simple truth is there is a worldwide migrant crisis,” Biden said. “There is no limit to the number of people who may try to come here, because there is no better place on the planet than the United States of America.”

Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the organization intended to sue the Biden administration to overturn his decision. He said: “It was illegal when Trump did it, and it is no less illegal now.”

Amy Fischer, the director of refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA, said it was “deeply disappointing to see President Biden so hellbent on dismantling human rights for people seeking asylum.”

READ MORE: Trump doubles down on mass deportation plans

The Trump campaign has criticized the measure as politically motivated and insufficient. Exceptions made by Biden for unaccompanied minors would encourage child trafficking, it argued. The Republican has vowed to deport illegal migrants en masse if he is elected president in November.

June 05, 2024 at 03:08PM

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