Joe Biden announced his immigration decree to close asylum requests at the border between the United States and Mexico

President Joe Biden toughened United States immigration policy this Tuesday with a decree that restricts asylum for migrants seeking to reach the country when illegal border crossings exceed 2,500 dailya measure that attempts to address one of the greatest concerns of Americans and a key issue of the presidential campaign.

Measure It is the most restrictive border policy instituted by Biden, or any other Democratic president. in the modern era, and evokes a 2018 initiative by then-President Donald Trump to cut off immigration, which was blocked in federal court.

In a White House briefing, Biden said, “We must face a simple truth.” And he added: “To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must secure the border first and secure it now,”signed. And he said that he was taking this measure because bipartisan legislation had failed in Congress this year.

With the initiative announced this Tuesday, migrants, who mostly cross the US southern border, They will be returned to their countries of origin or to Mexico and would not be eligible for asylum consideration once the limit is exceeded. The decision was announced one day after the official candidate Claudia Sheinbaum was elected president of Mexico.

Biden made the official announcement surrounded by authorities and mayors of border cities at a conference at the White House. The media deployment is due to the fact that it is a central issue of the electoral campaign for the presidency, which will culminate with the general elections on November 5, and one of the weak points of Biden’s management.

An average of RealClearPolitics polls indicates that 62.8% of Americans He disapproves of the Democratic candidate’s work on illegal immigration and that is why his Republican rival, Donald Trump, has made the issue a workhorse of his campaign. In addition, 42% of Americans believe that the massive arrival of “undocumented” immigrants is an important or serious issue in the country, according to Pew Research.

With this measure, Biden takes the initiative on a hot topic and seeks to snatch from Trump one of the most important flags of his campaign, although the Democrat runs the risk of being criticized by the left of his party, which favors the open borders policy. .

The limitation would take effect immediately, because the threshold of 2,500 illegal crossings has already been reached, and now the average income exceeds 3,500 daily, said a senior administration official. The border would reopen only once that number drops to 1,500.

Senior administration officials said Tuesday in a call with reporters that “people who cross the southern border illegally or without authorization generally will not be eligible for asylumin the absence of exceptionally compelling circumstances, unless accepted by proclamation.”

Officials said migrants who do not meet the requirement of having a “credible fear” when applying for asylum will be expelled immediately, and they “anticipate that we will expel those individuals within days, if not hours.”

Joe Biden, campaigning for his re-election. Photo: AP

In 2018, the Trump administration attempted to enact similar border restrictions, but they were blocked by courts. The Biden administration now hopes to defend the executive order against the legal challenges that are sure to come.

The American Civil Liberties Union already said it planned to challenge the executive action in court. “The government has left us no choice but to sue,” said Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the ACLU, which led the charge against the Trump administration’s attempt to block asylum in 2018 and resulted in federal courts halting the policy. “It was illegal under Trump and it’s no less illegal now.”

In the midst of the November election campaign, Trump has continually attacked the head of the White House for what he has described as “open borders” policies and “Biden’s immigration crime,” promising to enact a broad repression if he wins the presidency. “Our borders will be closed very soon,” Trump promises at his rallies. And he swears that he will expel millions of migrants.

Aware that politics generated uncomfortable comparisons, Biden took pains to distinguish his actions from Trump’s. “We continue to work closely with our Mexican neighbors instead of attacking them,” Biden said. He clarified that he would never refer to immigrants as “poisoning the blood” of the country, as Trump has done.

Still, the move shows how immigration policy has shifted to the right in the United States. Polls suggest there is now bipartisan support for border measures once denounced by Democrats and championed by Trump, as the number of people crossing into the country has reached record levels in recent years.

The decree will also have some exceptions, even for unaccompanied children.

The response of the Trumpists

From the Trumpist ranks, voices were immediately raised. Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavett said the exception would “green light for child traffickers and sex traffickers”while reiterating the former president’s rallying cry that “the border invasion and migrant crime will not stop until corrupt Joe Biden is deported from the White House.”

Republican legislators They are already criticizing the measure as insufficient and late.

Tents abandoned by migrants on the border of Mexico with Estadios Unidos in Tijuana, Baja California (Mexico). Photo EFE

Biden had already implemented some measures to restrict asylum claims from migrants who cross illegally, but many continue to be released into the United States because border authorities lack the capacity to detain, examine or deport them. In other cases, the countries of origin of the migrants They don’t accept them back nor do they cooperate with US authorities in deportations.

The failed bipartisan border legislation allocated billions in additional funding for deportation capacity and asylum processing, but Republican lawmakers rejected the bill after Trump spoke out against it.

The big question for me is whether this will come with additional resources.”said Kathleen Bush-Joseph, a lawyer and analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “Without additional dollars to implement this, the same challenges that each of the past asylum restrictions have faced will continue to exist.”

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