Is Biden right to speed up border asylum process?


Fact Box

  • On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the Biden administration suggested speeding up asylum for migrants coming to the southern border as part of a 21-point plan to deal with the surge of migrants. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “Individuals who are eligible will receive relief more swifty, while those who are not eligible will be expeditiously removed.”
  • The new law would transfer asylum cases from the Justice Department Immigration courts to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to combat the courts’ backlogged “1.3 million pending cases.”
  • Governor Gregg Abbott said he would build a Mexican border wall in the state of Texas to combat the migrant crisis in June of 2021.
  • President Biden terminated wall construction at the Southern Border in January 2021. He also revoked Trump’s “Remain-in-Mexico” policy to reinstate “catch-and-release.” 
  • According to US Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrant apprehensions have been increasing for the last 10 years, and reached a high of almost 200,000 in July 2021.

Tyler (Yes)

President Joe Biden's proposal for a complete transformation of the United States' asylum practices is long overdue. The current system in place holds an abundance of inconsistencies and has proven to be utterly inefficient over the years. While Biden initially stuck with President Trump's Title 42 immigration plan, America should be breathing a sigh of relief that Biden is now taking a different route.

The decision would put immigrants' futures in the hands of asylum officers rather than the courts, which usually turns out to be an extensive process. While the current system in place emphasizes executing the process in a timely manner, it has proven to be disorganized and incapable of handling these dilemmas. As of 2021, there are over 1 million active immigration cases in the United States in the hands of just over 500 immigration judges.

The introduction of the department would allow for 2000 more government jobs in that realm with educated and trained workers with knowledge in that field. This would form a structured operation involving people with a specialty in that specific topic. While the United States has always been a hotbed for people of all nations, immigration has shot up by ten times since 2010.

Throughout July, there were nearly 200,000 migrant encounters at the US-Mexico border. Migrant arrest cases are the highest they have been in 20 years; it is a situation that needs close monitoring. While Biden's policy doesn't necessarily emphasize granting asylum to more immigrants, it certainly accentuates the importance of having a thorough process.

Bill (No)

Biden's plan to speed up the border asylum process is merely the latest bad decision in this unfortunate immigration saga. Biden's ill-conceived policies have created the current crisis. His proposal to increase the number of refugees admitted to the US five-fold has led to the surge of asylum seekers at the southern border. In 2020, 12,000 refugees were permitted to enter the US. Biden proposes to raise that limit to 62,500 this year and double that number to 125,000 in 2022. 

In an environment of lockdowns, mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, and general pandemic-related hysteria about COVID case numbers and the Delta variant, Biden wants to take in more foreigners. 80% of Americans see the situation at the border as 'a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately.' In fact, 'the number of undocumented immigrants crossing the border reached a 21-year high in July.'  

Aside from the real concerns about the potential for immigrants to spread COVID, taxpayers will be asked to shoulder the billions in resettlement costs for the refugees. It's irresponsible to burden American taxpayers in the middle of a pandemic that has already cost millions of jobs and resulted in trillions of dollars of federal government deficit spending. Future generations will bear this additional refugee-related expense for decades to come. And to make matters worse, by signaling his intent to speed up the asylum process, Biden can expect to see an increase in the number of refugees at the border seeking entry into the US. There appears to be no end in sight to Biden's immigration policy missteps.

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