The United States could bar tens of thousands of migrants from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border under the proposed plan, which would require some asylum seekers to make appointments with U.S. officials first.
Immigrants who fail to schedule an appointment at a U.S. border port of entry or use a humanitarian program available to certain nationalities will not be eligible for asylum, except in certain circumstances, under the new rules proposed Tuesday.
They must also first seek protection in countries they pass through in order to be able to apply for asylum upon arrival in the United States.
The program will be the broadest attempt to date joe bidenExecutive Blocks Unauthorized Transit and Reflects Similar Efforts donald trumpwas blocked in court.
The measure is likely to face legal challenges, with critics saying it ignores dangerous conditions and limited asylum capacity in transit countries where migrants will seek protection.
“This is a horrific example of an attempt to flout domestic and international legal obligations,” said Karen Musalo, director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California School of Law.
The measure will apply to single adults and families, but not to unaccompanied children.
Under the plan, would-be immigrants would need to use legal avenues, such as using a mobile phone app to make an appointment to speak with a U.S. immigration official at a border entry point.
Border crossings could reach 13,000 passengers per day
But critics highlighted technical problems with the app and said it was unclear how many appointments were available each day.
The Biden administration began discussing the ban and other Trump-style measures last year as a way to reduce illegal crossings after COVID-era restrictions that allowed many migrants to be deported back to Mexico ended.
The COVID border policy known as Title 42 denies asylum on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID. The policy is expected to end in May.
The new proposal estimates that if no action is taken after Title 42 ends, border crossings could see 13,000 people a day — up from an average of about 5,000 a day in January.
Two buses carrying migrants drop off near Kamala Harris’ home
The measure will go through a 30-day public consultation period before being reviewed for final approval. This will be temporary for a period of two years with the possibility of extension.
Officials have insisted that the measure differs from Trump’s largely because there is room for immunity and because it provides other legal avenues, especially for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Ukrainians humanitarian parole.