The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden warned Tuesday that any transformative changes to the immigration system will not happen overnight, in an effort to calm expectations that a Democrat in the White House will quickly reveal the Trump administration’s hawkish years and chaotic politics.
But transitional officials discussed plans to change procedures for asylum seekers on the southern border. The new administration has said it wants to identify the most vulnerable migrants and process their requests first – rather than a first come, first served.
Transition officials said in a call with reporters that the change is part of the Biden team’s plan to completely rethink processing asylum claims.
“The goal is to change the way people are welcomed at the border, to make the process more efficient, make it fairer, and make it more humane,” said a Biden transition official. This means enabling asylum officers to adjudicate requests so that asylum seekers are not chained in court procedures for years. “
A Biden transition official said the Trump administration’s draconian restrictions on immigrants – and all the policy, employment and logistical changes that come with it – mean the system will need to be carefully repositioned.
“It’s an enormous challenge, really, because the current administration has broken a lot of things,” said a transition official.
The Trump administration issued an order, citing pandemic, Effectively preventing most immigrants from accessing the US immigration system. Before the pandemic, border officers regulated the number of immigrants allowed into the United States at official border crossings to seek asylum, a process known as waiting list management or “benchmarking.”
A Biden transition official said the administration intends to end the metering, which began under the Obama administration, because it artificially limits capacity, limits access to the nation’s immigration system, and deters immigrants from seeking protection in the United States. In October, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security Transfer It found that authorities in the United States, who rejected asylum seekers at official border crossings, told immigrants that they had no space to process them, regardless of whether they could actually do so.
A Biden transition official said their plan differs from scaling because the intent is to increase processing at borders and prioritize those who need the most protection. The most vulnerable migrants will be identified with the help of NGOs on the ground.
“Right now, people are sleeping outside the ports of entry to keep a place in line and when we’re faced with a public health crisis. A terrible situation,” said a Biden transition official. “The plan is to partner with organizations in Mexico to ensure that we cooperate and effectively treat individuals waiting in ports.”
The conversation with reporters came a day after Susan Rice said Biden had been chosen to lead the Home Policy Council, and Jake Sullivan, chosen by the National Security Adviser, told the Spanish news agency. EFE That it would take months to fully restore the asylum procedure at the border.
“The processing capacity of the border is not like the light you can turn on and off,” Rice told EFE. “Migrants and asylum seekers should never believe those in the area who are promoting the idea that the borders will suddenly open completely to deal with everyone on the first day.
Rice said the Biden administration will address the root causes of migration by working with civil society, the private sector, governments and international partners. The administration said it hopes to implement a $ 4 billion plan over four years to combat corruption, boost security and boost prosperity in areas from which people flee.
“We know that most people will not choose to leave their country and risk their lives and the lives of their families unless conditions at home are more dangerous than immigration,” Rice told EFE.
Another plan is to expand legal pathways for immigration that allow people to apply for refugee resettlement, temporary workers, and other employment-based programs from within the Western Hemisphere, including in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Sullivan said the Biden administration will not immediately end the Trump Immigrant Protection Protocol (MPP), which forces immigrants to wait in Mexico pending finalization of immigration cases to the United States. The plan is intended to end it early in the Biden administration.
“The MPP was a disaster from the start and led to a humanitarian crisis in northern Mexico,” Sullivan said. “But putting the new policy in place will take time.” “The current administration has dismantled many of the capabilities needed to ensure that migrants are treated safely and in an orderly manner. We need time to increase processing capacity and do so in line with public health requirements.”