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Proposed new asylum rule could mean bad news for some immigrants

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  • Proposed asylum rule could make it harder for some immigrants.
  • There is criticism from both sides.
  • Political pressure in an election year.

The Biden administration marked a significant milestone in its immigration policy by proposing a new asylum rule.

The new measure is intended to redefine the standards for requesting asylum at the country’s southern border.

This rule is still under review and will go through a public comment period.

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What is the proposed asylum rule?

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Under this proposed rule, immigration agents will be instructed to deny asylum applications to those considered a “risk to public or national security.”

This measure would make it impossible for these people to enter the U.S.

Although these filters are already applied in the asylum case evaluation process, the change is that they could be used during «credible fear» interviews.

These interviews are where agents determine whether an individual meets the requirements to request protection after crossing the border from Mexico.

Where would the migrants go?

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The Biden administration argues that these new standards will only affect a small segment of the population.

Specifically those with serious criminal records or ties to criminal activity.

According to a senior government official, this represents only a fraction of the people detained daily at the southern border.

People whose asylum application is rejected will be immediately expelled to Mexico or subject to formal deportation proceedings, depending on their nationality.

Will they be required to seek asylum in other countries?

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Additionally, the Biden administration announced new guidance urging immigration officials to consider whether an asylum seeker could find refuge elsewhere within the country they are fleeing.

The Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, made a statement, according to NPR.

«We will continue to take action, but fundamentally it is only Congress that can fix what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system.»

These measures come in a hot political environment, as immigration has emerged as one of the main issues in the election year.

Trump ramps up anti-immigrant rhetoric

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Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has adopted extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric and accuses Biden of having generated a «crisis» at the border.

Migrant rights organizations have criticized these measures, arguing that they undermine due process and restrict access to protection for people in highly vulnerable situations.

Marisa Limón, executive director of the NGO Las Américas, based in El Paso (Texas), expressed her concern about this to EFE.

This is not the White House’s first attempt to reform asylum regulations to limit the arrival of people at the southern border.

This is not the first time the Biden administration has tried to limit immigration

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The Biden administration introduced a series of changes that restricted applications by those who crossed the border irregularly, almost a year ago.

Although border apprehensions have decreased in the first months of this year, in 2023 the United States recorded a record of more than 2.3 million migrant arrests.

As a result, the Biden administration has partly abandoned its campaign promises to “restore” the asylum system, maintaining restrictive policies inherited from the previous administration, such as so-called Title 42.

In addition they have expanded or replaced them with new regulations aimed at limiting the number of people who can apply for asylum in the southern border.

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