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New executive order : Restrict asylum & shut down border temporarily   

Akm Shehabuddin Kisslu:  President Joe Biden issued on Tuesday signed an executive action that will temporarily shut down asylum requests at  the border and  set the stage for the U.S. border with Mexico to be shut down between ports of entry at midnight.

The new actions aim to restrict asylum by making a number of changes to the president’s Title 8 authority, long-established procedures that allow the government to remove from the country people who are unable to establish a legal basis. The new rule from the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice will restrict asylum during periods of high volumes of border crossings and allowing the Biden administration to remove some migrants immediately from the U.S. in a matter of hours or days. These migrants would face a five-year ban on reentering the country, as well as potential criminal prosecution.

But, here will still be a number of exceptions, including for unaccompanied children, some victims of trafficking, migrants facing acute medical emergencies or imminent threats to their safety. Migrants who also have an appointment at a port of entry via Custom and Border Protection’s Smartphone app will still be processed.

People who cross the border unlawfully will be deemed ineligible for asylum absent of compelling circumstances, and they will only be referred to an asylum officer under specific circumstances. And migrants who are screened by an asylum officer will also face higher standards than what was previously used to determine fear or the intention to seek asylum.

The action and accompanying rule from the Biden administration allows the president to suspend asylum claims in between ports of entry when there is an average of 2,500 crossings a day over a seven day period. That threshold, administration officials said, has already been hit over the past week.

This aggressive attempt comes by Biden to bolster his standing on the border in advance of the November election.

 “The border is not a political issue to be   weaponized ,” Biden said in a White House speech announcing the order.

“Today I’m moving past Republican obstruction and using the executive authorities available to me as president to do what I can on my own to address the border,” said the president.

“Frankly, I would have preferred to address this issue through bipartisan legislation,” he added, “but Republicans left me with no choice.”

The president was joined by members of Congress and local and state leaders from border cities and states.

When crossings exceed a daily average of 2,500 over the course of a week, the president will have the authority to shut down the border in between ports of entry. Once the shutdown is in effect, DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas can reopen the border once average crossings have fallen below 1,500 for seven consecutive days. That determination allows the border to reopen 14 days later.

The Biden administration is currently processing roughly 1,500 migrants a day at official ports, and the president’s actions will not affect his humanitarian parole pathways established for certain migrants.

The actions Biden announced on Tuesday are expected to face legal challenges, just as the Trump administration did when relying on the same presidential authority to make sweeping changes to the immigration system.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday swiftly announced that it would challenge the Biden administration’s policies in court, noting that the actions “take the same approach as the Trump administration’s asylum ban.”

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