The Biden administration has started implementing it’s overhaul of the asylum process on the southern border that allows U.S. asylum officers to oversee migrant cases, said officials from the Justice Department and Homeland Security under anonymity to CBS News. Texas has already filed a lawsuit to have the program stopped.
The major change in the new program allows bureaucrats instead of federal judges to process asylum claims. This is a major change to the system, but it will be implemented slowly.
The program will start on Tuesday and officials are expected to process a few hundred cases per month to kick off the program. They are only processing asylum-seekers planning to live near the cities of Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, New York and Newark.
There are currently up to 1.7 million backlogged unresolved cases in the Justice Department’s immigration court system. The new law allows the executive branch’s Department of Homeland Security to act as judge in these cases to grant asylum or deport migrants at a quicker pace.
“This rule is designed to transform how asylum claims are handled at our nation’s borders, to cut down unwieldy, slow-moving bureaucracy and establish a fair and efficient process in its place,” a senior DHS official said Thursday.
The official also mentioned that there are currently 100 U.S. asylum officers trained to handle the cases. They will only be interviewing adult migrants at two immigration centers in Texas to start the program.
Officials also outlined that migrants will get a second screening given 45 days after their first interview at the their chosen city of destination. If they fail to attend, they are immediately put into deportation proceedings. The rule change acts as a one way filter that allows migrants in. If they do not meet the criteria for asylum, they are put back into the backlog of asylum proceedings
Migrants that are currently being processed under Title 42 will continue to be deported under the new rules. According to DHS, over 1.9 million deportations to Mexico and south America have happened since Title 42 was put in place by the Trump administration in March of 2020.
Republicans attempted to stop the program with a bill in the House, but it never passed in the Senate. Biden would have likely vetoed it if it had made that far, said the administration Thursday.
According to migration activists, one of the largest caravans in recent memory has set off from the southern Mexican-city of Tapachula headed toward the southern border of the United States. Some of them are hoping that Biden can help them in.
There are between 6,000 people, according to Reuters, up to 15,000 people, as quoted by Fox, in the caravan headed through Mexico. They are mostly from Venezuela and some other south American countries.
Do you think this will help or hurt the immigration crisis at our southern border? Let us know in the comments.