The Biden administration on Friday faced new legal hurdles to its plans to deal with a migration crisis as a Title 42 pandemic era The border restrictions ended on Thursday evening.
A federal judge in Florida has temporarily barred US Customs and Border Protection from releasing migrants without a formal court appearance.
The parole board, which the CBP uses to speedily release migrants, comes with an obligation to report to authorities, even if no court date has been set.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas called Judge T. Kent Wetherell’s ruling “very damaging” in an interview Friday morning with ABC’s Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos.
“This is a damaging decision and the Justice Department is reviewing our options,” Mayorkas said.
Separately, the American Civil Liberties Union and other immigration advocates filed a lawsuit against the new Biden administration asylum restrictions which come into force on Friday.
“People fleeing persecution have a legal right to seek asylum regardless of how they reach the border,” said Melissa Crow, process manager at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies said in a statement. “Our asylum system was designed to protect people who are fleeing imminent threats to their lives and do not have the luxury of waiting for a hard-to-reach appointment or for the decision on an application in a country where they are at risk. “
The new asylum restrictions target migrants crossing illegally between checkpoints on the federal southwest border.
Non-Mexicans who do not apply for asylum elsewhere face accelerated deportation.
The new asylum restrictions target migrants crossing illegally between checkpoints on the federal southwest border. Anyone who is not from Mexico and does not apply for asylum elsewhere must expect accelerated deportation.
The Department of Homeland Security has braced for an expected surge in migration, timed to coincide with the end of controversial pandemic protocols under Title 42 of the US Code, which allowed for the rapid deportation of millions of migrants.
“And now we’re using our immigration authorities, our traditional immigration authorities, who impose tougher consequences on people who cross the border illegally,” Mayorkas said.
Title 8 of the US Code is traditional immigration law. And while it allows expedited deportations, migrants processed under these laws have typically been given more time to submit an asylum application.
Part of the Biden administration’s plan is to speed up the deportation process and impose penalties on those attempting to return to the United States illegally.
The government has also created new but limited avenues for migrants to gain legal status from outside the US. A probation regime for Cubans, Haitians, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans offers up to 30,000 qualified migrants temporary status and the ability to seek asylum.
“We have established legal, safe and orderly routes for them to enter the United States,” Mayorkas said. “If they arrive irregularly at our border, they have to face severe consequences.”