- House Republicans pass new asylum restrictions.
- Immigrants will be greatly affected.
- President Biden vows a veto if the law makes it to his desk.
House Republicans pass new asylum restrictions. The United States is implementing new restrictions on its border with Mexico to try to stop migrants from crossing illegally and instead encourage them to apply for asylum online through a new process. The changes come simultaneously with the end of the asylum restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Title 42 was the emergency health regulation put in place by President Donald Trump in March 2020. This regulation allowed the US authorities to immediately reject migrants who arrived at the border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Title 42 comes to an end and chaos ensues
Republicans in the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill to continue building the border wall between the United States and Mexico and impose new restrictions on asylum seekers, a move that creates hardline opposition to the policies of President Joe Biden just as migrants flock to the border after the end of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill has virtually no chance of becoming law. Democrats, who have close control in the Senate, have labeled the measures as «cruel» and «anti-immigrant». In addition, The Associated Press reports that Biden has promised to veto it.
Biden promises to veto Republican immigration bill
House Republicans deliberately timed the vote for the same day as the expiration of Title 42, a public health emergency rule that allowed border authorities to immediately deport many migrants who crossed the border illegally.
Biden has admitted that the southern border will be «chaotic for a while» as immigrants weigh whether to cross or wait and US authorities implement a new set of policies aimed at cracking down on unauthorized immigration and offering more legal pathways, the AP reported.
Lawmakers want to build more border wall between the United States and Mexico
According to the The Associated Press, Republicans have been determined to criticize Biden for the increase in irregular immigration during his tenure. Passing the bill would ensure House Republican lawmakers can say they did their part to fulfill their campaign promise to protect the border.
However, it took months for the bill to pass in the House of Representatives, amid sometimes public spats among GOP lawmakers over the initiative. Even as the law was about to be approved on Wednesday, it had to be modified to appease the concerns of the so-called Liberty Caucus and other legislators.
US and international law grant migrants the right to apply for asylum
US and international law give migrants the right to seek asylum based on political, religious or racial persecution, but conservatives say many people take advantage of the current system to live and work in the United States while waiting for their asylum application to be processed in court, the AP agency said.
The package would return to many of the same policies pursued by former President Donald Trump, such as building fences along the border. It would also restrict asylum by requiring migrants to cross legally, pay a $50 fee and meet more stringent requirements to show in initial interviews that they have a credible fear of persecution in their home country.