WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is expanding the pool of immigrants who will be allowed into the United States to file asylum claims, in the latest attempt to do away with restrictive immigration policies in place under President Donald J. Trump.
The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it will start on Wednesday looking into immigrants whose cases have been terminated under a Trump-era program that gives border officials the authority to return asylum seekers to Mexico to wait for their cases to go through the blockage. The US immigration system. The change can affect tens of thousands of people.
President Biden had already ended the programme, known officially as the Immigrant Protection Protocols. This month, his administration began bringing in immigrants enrolled in the program who have pending asylum cases.
The ministry said in a statement that the latest step was “part of our ongoing effort to restore safe, orderly and humane treatment on the southwestern border.”
While this development is welcomed by many immigration and human rights advocates, it will do little to ease pressure on the Biden administration to stop deporting hundreds of thousands of other immigrants, many of whom are also seeking asylum, who have been denied entry to the United States. states due to a public health rule that was put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats and human rights advocates have long attacked Trump’s platform Started in 2019 As an attempt to discourage immigrants from trying to cross the southwestern border, even though they have the legal right to apply for asylum in the United States. The cases of many asylum seekers enrolled in the program have been closed because they were unable to appear in court hearings in the United States while they faced precarious situations in Mexico.
“By keeping immigrants in dangerous conditions in Mexico, the Trump administration has ensured that many people will not be able to appear at their hearings and their allegations will be dismissed,” said Representatives Penny Thompson of Mississippi and Nanette Barragan, both Democrats. Joint statement on Tuesday. Mr. Thompson is the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Ms. Barragan is the chair of the Border Security Subcommittee. “Allowing these people to be eligible for treatment is the right thing to do.”
Representative Michael Guest, a Mississippi Republican and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the decision was made hastily and without transparency.
“The administration’s seemingly reckless declaration lacked explanation, justification, or any other indication that the decision had been taken only after the proper and legally required careful deliberation and consultation,” Mr. wrote in a letter To Alejandro N. Majorcas, Secretary of Homeland Security.
The development could affect more than 34,000 immigrants seeking asylum in the United States, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which collects immigration data.
The process will not be quick, said Judy Rabinowitz, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. Applicants will need to register, and someone will have to tell them what they need to file to reopen their cases. She said there was no guarantee that an immigration judge would agree to a request to reopen, let alone be granted asylum.
In another important break with the Trump administration, the The Ministry of Justice reversed last week A Trump-era immigration ruling has made it impossible for people to seek asylum in the United States because of genuine fears of domestic or gang violence. The decision could affect hundreds of thousands of Central Americans fleeing gang extortion and recruitment and the women fleeing domestic violence who have arrived in the United States since 2013.