Biden Administration Prepares For The Pre-Christmas Border Crisis
Trump-era policies severely restricted border crossings coming to an end, and Biden administration officials are scrambling for last-minute preparations to counter the expected influx of immigrants, resulting in The Department of Homeland Security providing an emergency update on Thursday.
A federal court-ordered lifting of Title 42 has severely limited border crossings. DHS is “very likely” to revive a “transit ban” model championed by former President Donald Trump’s immigration adviser, Stephen Miller. However, a final decision is expected within the next week, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.
Such a ban would bar immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States unless they were expelled from another country, such as Mexico, to a safe harbor. But politics faces legal hurdles — the court blocked Miller’s proposal in 2020.
Border authorities are also conducting new training to help asylum officials understand those who fall under the International Convention against Torture. This sets a much higher bar than traditional applications and shows that the administration is looking to limit asylum processing further.
The administration is also considering expanding a humanitarian probation program for Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans, similar to the program introduced for Venezuelans this fall, people familiar with the proposal told POLITICO.
Biden Administration Bracing For Pre-Christmas Border Crisis
The program accepted up to 24,000 people who already had ties to the United States and could provide financial and other assistance while rejecting many other Venezuelans who did not meet the qualifications.
DHS raised questions about the plan to a statement by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released earlier this month, noting that her comments are still valid. “The Administration committedly to securing our borders while maintaining safe, orderly, and humane treatment of migrants. The repeal of Title 42 will not change this.”
According to a published post by Newsbreak, the White House did not respond to POLITICO’s request for comment, but Jean-Pierre reiterated her position at a press conference on Thursday.
DHS’s updated six-point plan says the department will employ 1,000 border patrol coordinators and add 2,500 contractors and other agency personnel to support border operations. In a seven-page document, DHS also said it had added 10 temporary facilities to increase Customs and Border Protection capacity “more than a third from early 2021.”
Greg Chen, senior director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, expressed concerns about access to Immigration Lawyers and Conditions at these facilities. DHS also said CBP is more advisable. Compared to early last year, he has cut immigration processing time by 30%.
As the administration gears up for next week, a group of GOP-led states is making a last-ditch attempt to bail out Title 42, whose termination would “irreparably damage” the state. On Friday, a circuit court in D.C. will decide whether to grant the state’s request. The group has also requested a seven-day administrative suspension if the suspension is denied to seek relief from the Supreme Court.