The Biden administration released a 21-point plan Tuesday to process asylum claims more quickly, allowing asylum-seekers to bypass immigration courts but also potentially deporting those who do not qualify.
The plan intends to give asylum officers the authority to rule on asylum claims, NBC News reported.
Families seeking asylum would also be provided legal counsel if Congress approves President Joe Biden’s $15 million budget request for the following year, according to NBC.
“Asylum and other legal migration pathways should remain available to those seeking protection,” a White House fact sheet about the plan states.
“Those not seeking protection or who don’t qualify will be promptly removed to their countries of origin.”
Immigration courts currently have a backlog of over 1.2 million cases, according to NBC.
The Biden administration plans to reduce the backlogs “by ensuring priority cases are considered in a timely manner and hiring more immigration judges,” the fact sheet states.
The White House did not say how quickly these policy changes would come into fruition and blamed the Trump administration’s “irrational and inhumane policies” for the delays.
“Success in building this fair, orderly, and humane immigration system won’t be achieved overnight, especially after the prior Administration’s irrational and inhumane policies, but this Administration has a blueprint to get there and is making real progress,” the fact sheet states.
“We will always be a nation of borders, and we will enforce our immigration laws in a way that is fair and just. “
The Biden administration is still enforcing former President Donald Trump’s policies that were aimed at preventing COVID-19 cases from coming across the border, despite the opposition of some migrant rights groups, NBC reported.
The administration had planned to lift the policy, known as Title 42, but is now reconsidering it due to an additional surge of border crossings, NBC reported.
Apprehensions at the border this fiscal year surpassed 1 million in June, The Washington Post reported.
Border officials said that many of the migrants taken into custody have attempted to cross the border multiple times, according to the Post.
And the trip remains dangerous, particularly at this time of the year.
“We are in the hottest part of the summer, and we are seeing a high number of distress calls to CBP from migrants abandoned in treacherous terrain by smugglers with no regard for human life,” acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Troy Miller told the newspaper.
“Although CBP does everything it can to locate and rescue individuals who are lost or distressed, the bottom line is this: The terrain along the border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert migrants must hike after crossing the border in many areas are unforgiving.”
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