By Leonardo Cervantes
President Joe Biden’s administration has decided to add restrictions to legal pathways for migrants looking to cross the Mexico border into the United States.
The new restrictions greatly impact migrants applying for asylum.
Migrants will be required to apply for asylum throughout the countries they travel on their way to the U.S. Migrants claiming asylum will have to schedule an appointment at a U.S. port of entry in each country.
If they come to the U.S. they can still apply for asylum, but most who cross illegally will be sent back. This will make life difficult for migrants trying to improve their life.
Not only are the new asylum rules stricter, but they are also likely to slow down the approval process of migrants.
Many of these migrants need immediate safety but will be subject to these unfortunate new regulations.
These new immigration policies will deeply affect those migrants who are turned down.
If their lives are in immediate danger they are not likely to have an option of to return to their country and will be forced to stay in Mexico.
Salvadoran and Guatemalan migrants, neighboring countrymen, that are turned down will likely decide to live along the U.S.-Mexico border for their safety.
Title 42 is a public health policy that allows the U.S. to expel any noncitizen during a health crisis.
Title 42 was utilized during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been in place ever since. The administration announced Title 42 will end May 11.
Biden’s plan will take effect once Title 42 restrictions are lifted.
“Between March 2020 and January 2021, when the Trump administration enforced Title 42, U.S. border officials recorded 552,919 migrant encounters, 83% of which resulted in expulsions,” said PEW Research Center.
During the Biden administration, the U.S. has reported more than 4 million migrant encounters, roughly half of which turned into Title 42 expulsions, according to government data as of the end of October 2022. Biden’s administration will likely continue to see similar if not increased numbers.
“The rule would apply to single adults and families seeking asylum, but there would be an exception for children and teens who are unaccompanied. There are also exceptions for asylum seekers who are facing an imminent threat to their lives or have a medical emergency,” the Department of Homeland Security said.
Those that are seeking asylum must prove their case at the border, which can be difficult for the migrants to do.
People seeking asylum at the border are subjected to security and criminal background checks.
Then they go through a lengthy process involving multiple government agencies in order to prove that they have a fear of persecution.
Migrants seeking asylum are all looking to get out of a bad situation.
However, it will now be up to the lawmakers to decide if their reasons for seeking asylum are valid or not.
“Noncitizens who are subject to the rebuttable presumption, do not rebut the presumption, and do not establish a reasonable fear of persecution or torture in the country of removal will be promptly removed,” DHS said.
Biden and his administration should be looking to lower restrictions on migrants seeking asylum instead of enforcing stricter rules.
While a few migrants may unneccersarily seek asylum to enter the U.S., many come with the intention to be able to provide security for their families.
A lot of migrants flee because they aren’t able to afford their daily meals due to poor economy in their home countries.
The overwhelming majority are seeking asylum because they come from a rough background or their life is in immediate danger. It’s a sad reality that many migrants migrants in sincerely life-threatening situations .
“Those ordered removed will be subject to at least a five-year bar to reentry and potential criminal prosecution if they subsequently re-enter without authorization. Those ordered removed also will be ineligible for the parole processes available to nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela,” DHS said.
Unfortunately, these new restrictions will lead to increased hardship among migrants seeking a safer life. The new proposed restrictions have already come under question and will likely be challenged in court once the until Title 42 restrictions are lifted.