Biden Change Trump’s Immigration Insurance policies
The new administration of President-elect Joe Biden warned Tuesday that the immigration system would not change overnight, trying to temper expectations that a Democrat in the White House would quickly unravel the years of tough and chaotic policies of the Trump administration.
However, transitional officials discussed plans to change procedures for asylum seekers on the southern border. The incoming government said it wants to identify the most vulnerable immigrants and process their applications first – rather than on a first come, first served basis.
The change is part of the Biden team’s plan to rethink asylum processing as a whole, transition officials said on a phone call with reporters.
“The goal is to change the way people are greeted at the border, making the process more efficient, fairer and more humane,” said a Biden transition official. “This means that asylum officers have the opportunity to decide on claims so that asylum seekers are not involved in legal proceedings for years.”
The Trump administration’s severe restrictions on immigrants – and any associated political, personnel and logistical changes – mean the system must be carefully reintroduced, a Biden interim official said.
“It really is an enormous challenge because the current government has broken so many things,” said one interim official.
The Trump administration, citing the pandemic, issued an order that is effectively preventing most immigrants from entering the U.S. immigration system. Before the pandemic, border officials regulated how many immigrants were allowed to enter the United States at official crossings to apply for asylum. This process is known as queue management or “measurement”.
A Biden interim official said the administration intends to end the measurement begun under the Obama administration because it artificially restricts capacity, restricts access to the nation’s immigration system and discourages immigrants from seeking refuge in the U.S. In October, a report from the Inspector General of Homeland Security found that US authorities who turned away asylum seekers at official border crossings told immigrants they had no place to process them whether or not they could.
Their plan is different from measurement because it aims to improve processing at the border and prioritize those in need of the most protection, a Biden interim official said. The most vulnerable immigrants would be identified with the help of local NGOs.
“Right now, people are sleeping outside the ports of entry to hold a seat in line and it’s a public health crisis. A dire situation,” said a Biden interim official. “We plan to work with organizations in Mexico to make sure we’re working together and effectively handling people waiting to be featured in ports.”
The interview with reporters came the day after Susan Rice, Biden’s decision to head the Home Affairs Council, and Jake Sullivan, his election as national security advisor, told Spanish-language news agency EFE that it would take months for asylum processing to be fully restored is the limit.
“The processing capacity at the limit is not like a light that you can just turn on and off,” Rice told EFE. “Migrants and asylum seekers should absolutely not believe that those in the region are advocating the idea that on day 1 the border will suddenly be completely open to process everyone. It won’t be.”
Rice said the Biden administration will address the root causes of migration through working with civil society, the private sector, governments and international partners. The government hopes to implement a $ 4 billion four-year plan to fight corruption, improve security and promote prosperity in areas where people are fleeing.
“We know most people will not leave their country and risk their own lives and those of their families unless conditions at home are potentially more dangerous than migration,” Rice told EFE.
Another plan is to expand the legal migration routes that allow people to apply for refugee resettlement, temporary agency workers and other employment-related programs within the Western Hemisphere, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Sullivan said the Biden administration will not end Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) immediately, forcing immigrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. immigration cases to be completed. It is planned to end it early in Biden’s administration.
“MPP has been a disaster from the start and has created a humanitarian crisis in northern Mexico. However, the implementation of the new policy will take time,” said Sullivan. “The current administration has reduced much of the necessary capacity to ensure the safe and orderly processing of migrants. We need time to increase the processing capacity and to do so in accordance with public health requirements.”