Today, the Biden administration will implement new border policies following the end of Title 42. In 2020, the Trump administration enacted Title 42 to reportedly stop the spread of coronavirus. According to CBS News, it has “given U.S. border authorities the power to swiftly expel some migrants from the country without allowing them to make an asylum claim.”
The end of Title 42 marks the beginning of a new border policy.
Reuters reported that, “Biden’s plan to ban certain asylum seekers mirrors similar efforts under Trump that were blocked by federal courts and has drawn similar opposition.” This new law says that asylum seekers must apply for refugee in other asylum-granting countries or utilize other “lawful pathways” before they apply for asylum in the United States, NBC News said.
According to some critics, this mirrors former President Trump’s transit ban. Rachel Leon said, “The new proposed immigration policy by the Biden Administration is a different face of the Trump era Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) which demanded asylum seekers to request asylum in countries they passed through before requesting Asylum in the United States.” Leon is the founder of Leon Law and an immigration attorney based in Miami, Florida.
She is a daughter of Cuban parents who emigrated to the U.S. and has dedicated her career to helping immigrants enter the U.S. safely. Leon said the Trump-era laws were “harmful and illegal” and “it continues to be the same with the Biden administration. It violates Biden’s campaign to restore Asylum and asylum seekers human rights. Requiring people to seek asylum protection in countries with no functioning asylum system is a life threatening measure.”
Leon’s concerns parallel the concerns expressed by immigration rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who have threatened to sue the Biden administration. After winning a lawsuit against the Trump administration, they vowed to sue again if this plan is set in motion.
Nonetheless, some critics push back on the comparisons between Biden and Trump’s border policies. Renata Castro, an immigration attorney, said, “There is a lot of back and forth about Biden’s handling of the border. The reality? I think Biden can do no right in this arena.”
Castro’s sentiments were echoed by Irina Tsukerman, a human rights and national security attorney based in New York. Tsukerman noted that Biden’s asylum plan is “less stringent but requires the asylum seeker to make an appointment with US officials before entering US OR to attempt to claim asylum in a third country.”
Yet, for some migrants, the mobile app to set appointments is faulty and inaccessible, an NBC News article noted. Tsukerman acknowledges the imperfection of Biden’s transit ban but maintains that it “offers a measure of protection to legitimate asylum seekers from human traffickers and criminals who seek to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations and who place legitimate seekers in danger by accompanying them to the borders.”
There are mixed opinions on the issue of the border, and Politico reported that this is the “White House’s most restrictive border control measure to date.” Because of this, some are saying that Biden abandoned his campaign promise, which was to end the “Trumpian approach to border politics.”
According to Castro, this will become a hot-button issue given the upcoming election in 2024. In an email interview, she wrote, “This highly politicized subject will be the launching pad for presidential hopefuls for the 2024 election (AKA Ron DeSantis).”