Washington (CNN) — The Joe Biden administration is seriously considering a proposal that would bar migrants from seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border if they were able to receive refuge in another country they passed through, a move that reflects Trump-era restrictions on asylum. according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
Officials are now bracing for a surge in the number of migrants trying to cross the US border once the controversial public health authority, known as Title 42, comes to an end in three weeks. In that sense, they weigh multiple plans to stop the flow.
The recent proposal, on which the newspaper initially reported The New York Times, was included in a memo the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent to the White House, one of the sources said. The proposal has not received final approval and would still have to go through the rulemaking process before taking effect, the source explained.
But if adopted, it would be reminiscent of a policy implemented under the Trump administration that severely limited the ability of migrants to claim asylum in the United States if they resided in or traveled through other countries before reaching the border. At the time, the policy received wide criticism from immigrant advocates.
“The government is committed to continuing to secure our borders while maintaining safe, orderly, and humane immigration processing. This will continue to be the case when Title 42 is suspended. Media reports indicate that US policy will change are inaccurate; no such decision has been made,” said Marsha Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
CNN previously reported that DHS is preparing to deal with multiple scenarios. Among them, projections of between 9,000 and 14,000 migrants that each day could try to cross the southern border of the United States when Title 41, also from the Trump era, ends at the end of December. This number represents more than double the number of people currently crossing.
Title 42 was invoked early in the coronavirus pandemic and has been fiercely criticized by immigrant advocates and public health experts, who argue that the measure has been used as a pretext to largely ban immigrants from entering the United States. country.
Border authorities used the public health restriction to expel migrants nearly 2.5 million more times in less than three years. But last month, a federal judge struck down the restrictions. Judge Emmet Sullivan stayed his ruling until midnight on December 21.
Department of Homeland Security officials are drawing on border plans released this spring to prepare for the end of Title 42, including, for example, considering additional facilities to process migrants.
The department is also speeding up asylum processing times, doubling down on anti-smuggling operations and coordinating with partners in the Western Hemisphere, according to an administration official.