On January 5th, 2023, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would start immediately deporting individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who attempt to enter the country without authorization along the border with Mexico. President Joe Biden said “these four countries account for most of the people now travelling into Mexico to try to start a new life by crossing the border into the United States of America.” The White House announced that it will grant two year work authorization to 30,000 individuals each month from the three countries including Venezuela if they have sponsors in the United States and can qualify the background checks. Anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will not be eligible for the program and will sent back to Mexico. According to the data, a huge number of migrants from the above mentioned countries have been encountered more than 82,000 times in November only who tried to enter the United States through different means. As a result of the new policy, almost 360,000 individuals from these four countries can enter the United States legally each year. Speaking about the security, Biden told the reporters, “We anticipate that this action is going to substantially reduce the number of people attempting to cross our southwest border without going through a legal process.”
Since March 2020, migrants have been denied the opportunity to apply for asylum 2.5 million times at the U.S.-Mexico border as a result of Title 42 restrictions that President Trump enacted as an urgent health action to stop the COVID-19 outbreak from spreading. Republicans filed a legal action to defend the Title 42 limits against Biden’s motion to eliminate them. For the past few months, asylum seekers have been arriving in greater numbers at the United States’ southern border with Mexico for safe and better life in the United States. This resulted in Republicans call for more action from the Biden administration to secure the border. Biden made efforts to reverse the anti-immigration measures taken by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden Administration and Title 42
Biden has suffered a lot politically due to the border security and the immigration chaos. During his presidency, Biden canceled the Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and halted construction on the southern border wall, additionally, the zero-tolerance policy was also abandoned formally. However, the Title 42, in-spite of being controversial, remained in place during Biden administration so that border can be prevented from becoming unmanageable. Despite criticism from rights groups who said the policy puts the lives of asylum seekers in danger, the Biden administration has worked to prevent migrants and refugees from crossing the border and has also defended Title 42 in court. The majority of migrants were sent back by the administration under Title 42 and Title 8 with the help of Border Patrol authorities. Biden is expanding Title 42 and made a legal path for some migrants. Before that, an emergency six-point plan unveiled for the anticipated termination of Title 42 by the Department of Homeland Security. The newly border enforcement actions has been referred by White House as “fair, orderly, and humane immigration system.”
New Policy to Curb Illegal Immigration
The new measures will not only curb illegal immigration but will make it simpler for border authorities to swiftly deport immigrants who enter the country outside of authorized crossing points. Another action is the restoration of bilateral accords that require asylum seekers who enter the country through a third country to provide evidence that they have not received protections before requesting asylum at the US-Mexico border. However, under the humanitarian parole authority which is already being utilized to accept some refugees from countries like Afghanistan and Ukraine, anyone from the four mentioned countries will be able to apply for legal immigration to the United States. The expanded humanitarian parole program for the nationals of these countries is welcomed by Amnesty International U.S. This program will permit the people to enter the United States but does not give them a permanent status. The strategy is a part of a larger initiative to stop record numbers of border crossers and manage with the political and humanitarian challenges posed by mass migration. It is recommended that implementation of new enforcement measures for border security must be implemented considering a humanitarian perspective.
Research Associate, Pakistan House