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OPINION

Biden’s Trump-Like Asylum Rules Are a Gimmick

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Biden Administration is continuing to set records at the southern border in all the wrong ways. 

According to a recent report from Fox News, more than one million illegal aliens have already crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2023, which began on October 1, 2022. This puts the U.S. on pace to shatter yet another record when it comes to illegal crossings at the border. After more than 2.3 million illegal aliens entered the country in fiscal year 2022, and over 1.7 million entered in fiscal year 2021, the Biden Administration seems content to allow the illegal immigration crisis to continue exploding.

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After years of denying the crisis at the border, the administration is on a PR offensive, attempting to ease Americans’ concern as Joe Biden gears up for his likely re-election campaign. During a recent interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas attempted to assure the American people that the administration has operational control of the southern border, while blaming Congress for the number of illegal crossings. 

Late last month, the Biden Administration announced new asylum rules which encourage aspiring migrants to seek refuge in a safe third country before applying for asylum in the U.S. The new rules sound a lot like the Trump Administration’s policy, which included agreements with several Central American countries to allow migrants to apply for asylum there before coming to the U.S. The Biden Administration terminated the policy just weeks after taking office. 

While the new rules sound like a return to the Trump-era policy, the reality is much different. The Biden Administration’s new asylum rules contains broad exceptions, according to a recent analysis. The exceptions are made for aliens who are given approval by DHS to travel to the U.S., aliens who present themselves at a port of entry after scheduling an appointment on a mobile app, aliens who are unaccompanied minors, or those who had their asylum application denied in another country. 

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This embodies the games the Biden Administration plays when it comes to border policy. It is typical of this administration to institute a policy which sounds tough on illegal immigration, but creates broad carve outs that defeat the purpose of the rule in the first place. In reality, the administration is just trying to get control of the narrative ahead of campaign season, while doing nothing to actually stop the carnage at the southern border.

The Biden White House is also being aided by an opposition party in Congress that has been unable to coalesce behind a border security bill, and has been unable to corral the votes to begin impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas. If Republicans in Congress can’t organize around opposition to Biden’s anti-border policies, then the administration will have the opportunity to seize control of the narrative, and continue to blame dysfunction in Congress for the chaos at the border.

While the administration attempts to triangulate on this issue, it’s unlikely the situation at the border will improve any time soon. The use of Title 42 at the border is set to come to an end in May, once  Biden terminates the National Emergency that has been in place for years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the Title 42 order (originally put in place by the Trump Administration) has been loosely -enforced by the current administration, it is still the only semblance of sane border policy Biden has kept in place. With the order soon ending, the number of illegal border crossings will continue to explode, and no amount of shell games and asylum gimmicks will be sufficient to replace it.

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With the Title 42 order coming to an end, and no border security bill coming from Congress anytime soon, the only hope for getting the border under control is dependent upon a dramatic change in policy from the Biden Administration. In other words, the crisis at the border is likely to continue unabated for the foreseeable future.

William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

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