ACLU To Sue To Block Biden Executive Order Tightening Migrant Entries with Asylum Claims.

WASHINGTON – (WBAP/KLIF) – The American Civil Liberties Union says it will sue to block President Biden’s executive order on immigration, aimed at a sharp lowering of U.S. migrant entries. The order would allow officials to quickly reject and deport migrants who enter between official border crossings.

Three changes to current or recent American asylum law are to be enacted:

-A noncitizen who crosses the border without authorization (between official points of entry) will be ineligible for asylum.

-Any noncitizen who crosses the border while this order is in effect and is processed for removal will be referred to a “credible fear” interview with an asylum officer “if they manifest or express a fear of return to their country or country of removal, a fear of persecution and torture, or intention to apply for asylum”.

-The standard for credible fear is raised to a “reasonable probability of persecution or torture standard”.

The partial ban would also not apply to unaccompanied children, those people suffering dire medical conditions, and, as noted, those fleeing “imminent harm”, or those using the legal paths to enter America.

Under the Biden executive order, partial asylum request cutbacks and border shutdowns at the U.S.-Mexico border will stop when unauthorized crossings reach the number of 2,500 migrants. When the threshold of 2,500 migrants claiming asylum is reached, all migrant entries at official border crossing points will stop. After daily encounters then reach a number fewer than 1,500 migrants discovered between points of entry, and until 14 calendar days additional with the lower number(s) continued, the executive order provisions would expire, and official border points would reopen.

Further, the Biden action raises the standard for credible fear interviews to a “reasonable probability of persecution or torture standard”; a new and much higher standard than that recently applied at the border.

Biden campaigned in 2020 as an advocate for asylum law, but his executive order is relying on the same presidential authority used by former President Donald Trump – Section 212(f) of the Immigration Nationality Act, which Trump used to justify several restrictions such as the “travel ban” barring those from predominantly Muslim countries.

The ACLU and migrant advocates warn the new rules violate American federal law, which provides migrants with the ability to ask for humanitarian protection once foot is set on American land. With increasing violence, extortion of farmers and businesses, and climate change sorely affecting crops and ability to grow food, many people feel forced to flee their homeland, in search of a resumption of a normal life.

Migrant advocates decry the lack of paths available to those who wish to claim asylum with credible fear, noting the CBP One app, or Customs and Border Protection app that allows migrants to make appointments for asylum claims allows very few to do so on a daily basis; only 1450 appointments are available daily to would-be migrants worldwide. Further, many who flee do not have cell phones or the ability to use a phone to try to make an appointment day after day. Migrant advocates say many of these migrants wait weeks or months in Mexico, or points nearer the U.S. than their originating homeland, intending to make an asylum claim via legal channels making an app-related appointment, but after some time finally flee into the desert in hopes of an irregular crossing into the U.S., risking death from heat stroke, thirst, starvation, and cartel violence.

Those in the business of helping migrants as they travel to the U.S. or await their chance at the border warn migrants who attempt for weeks and sometimes months to make an appointment for an asylum interview via the CPB One app do reach a point they must make a move; resulting, they say, in migrants fleeing into the desert, at risk of death by heat stroke, dehydration and cartel extortion, violence and death.

President Biden defends the executive order, saying illegal border crossings remain consistently and historically high, and noting congressional Republicans have rejected bipartisan border security legislation negotiated earlier this year. The President attempted to frame the executive order as differing from Trump White House immigration policies which focused on religion, which Biden’s order does not.

(Copyright, All Rights Reserved, WBAP/KLIF 2024)

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