Tag Archives: border crisis

President Biden Announces New Actions to Secure the Border, Calls for Congress to Pass Bipartisan Immigration Reform

President Biden, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announces new actions to control the border while urging Republicans in Congress not to obstruct crucial immigration reform © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via MSNBC.

With Republicans actively obstructing bipartisan legislation to secure the border, President Biden has taken new actions to bar migrants who cross our Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum, but continues to appeal for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform – as he has proposed since Day 1 of his administration.

Here are President Biden’s remarks about his Executive Order, and a fact sheet describing the new actions to secure the border, provided by the White House:
 
I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refuse to do: take the necessary steps to secure our border. 

Four months ago, after weeks of intense negotiation between my staff and Democrats and Republicans, we came to a clear — clear bipartisan deal that was the strongest border security agreement in decades.  But then Republicans in Congress — not all, but — walked away from it. 

Why?  Because Donald Trump told them to.  He told the Republicans — it has been published widely by many of you — that he didn’t want to fix the issue; he wanted to use it to attack me.  That’s what he wanted to do.  It was a cynical and a – extremely cynical political move and a complete disservice to the American people, who are looking for us to — not to weaponize the border but to fix it. 

Today, I am joined by a bipartisan group of governors, members of Congress, mayors, law enforcement officials — most of whom live and work along the southern border.  They know the border is not a political issue to be weaponized — the responsibility we have to share to do something about it.  They don’t have time for the games played in Washington, and neither do the American people. 

So, today, I’m moving past Republican obstruction and using the executive authorities available to me as president to do what I can on my own to address the border. 

Frankly, I would have preferred to address this issue through bipartisan legislation, because that’s the only way to actually get the kind of system we have now — that’s broken — fixed, to hire more Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, more judges.  But Republicans have left me with no choice. 
 
Today, I’m announcing actions to bar migrants who cross our southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum.  Migrants will be restricted from receiving asylum at our southern border unless they seek it after entering through an established lawful process.  

And those who seek — come to the United States legally — for example, by making an appointment and coming to a port of entry — asylum will still be available to them — still available.  But if an individual chooses not to use our legal pathways, if they choose to come without permission and against the law, they’ll be restricted from receiving asylum and staying in the United States. 

This action will help us to gain control of our border, restore order to the process.

This ban will remain in place until the number of people trying to enter illegally is reduced to a level that our system can effectively manage. 

We’ll carry out this order consistent with all our responsibilities under international law — every one of them. 

In addition to this action, we recently made important reforms in our asylum system: more efficient and more secure reforms.  The goal is to deliver decisions on asylum as quickly as possible. 

The quicker decision means that a migrant is less likely to pay a criminal smuggler thousands of dollars to take them on a dangerous journey, knowing that if, in fact, they move in the wrong direction, they’d be turned around quickly. 

And two weeks ago, the Department of Justice started a new docket in the immigration courts to address cases where people who’ve recently crossed the border and make — they’ll make a decision within six months rather than six years, because that’s what happens now.  

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed new rules to allow federal law enforcement to more quickly remove asylum seekers that have criminal convictions and remove them from the United States. 

My administration also recently launched new efforts to go after criminal networks that profit from smuggling migrants to our border and incentivize people to give tipsto law enforcement to provide information that brings smugglers to justice. 

We’re also sending additional federal prosecutors to hot spots along the border and prosecute individuals who break our immigration laws. 

One other critical step that we’ll be taking, and that made a huge difference: We continue to work closely with our Mexican neighbors instead of attacking Mexico, and it’s worked. 

We built a strong partnership of trust between the Mexican President, López Obrador, and I’m going to do the same with the Mexican-elect President, who I spoke with yesterday.

We’ve chosen to work together with Mexico as an equal partner, and the facts are clear.  Due to the arrangements that I’ve reached with President Obrador, the number of migrants coming and shared — to our shared border unlawfully in recent months has dropped dramatically. 

But while these steps are important, they’re not enough. 

To truly secure the border, we have to change our laws, and Congress needs to provide the necessary funding to hire 1,500 more border security agents; 100 more immigration judges to help tackle the backlog of cases — more than 2 million of them; 4,300 more asylum officers to make decisions in less than six months instead of six years, which is what it takes now; and around 100 more high-tech detection machines to significantly increase the ability to screen and stop fentanyl being smuggled into the United States. 

These investments were one of the primary reasons that the Border Patrol union endorsed the bipartisan deal in the first place.  And these investments are essential and remain essential. 

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not willing to spend the money to hire more Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, more judges, more high-tech machinery, you’re just not serious about protecting our border.  It’s as simple as that.

I believe that immigration has always been a lifeblood of America.  We’re constantly renewed by an infusion of people and new talent. 

The Statue of Liberty is not some relic of American history.  It stands for who we are as the United States. 

So, I will never demonize immigrants.  I will never refer to immigrants as “poisoning the blood” of a country.  And further, I’ll never separate children from their families at the border. 

I will not ban people from this country because of their religious beliefs.  I will not use the U.S. military to go into neighborhoods all across the country to pull millions of people out of their homes and away from their families to put detention camps while awaiting deportation, as my predecessor says he will do if he occupies this office again.
 
On my very first day as president, I introduced a comprehensive immigration reform planto fix our broken system, secure our border, provide a pathway for citizenship for DREAMers, and a lot more.  And I’m still fighting to get that done. 

But we must face a simple truth: To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now.

The simple truth is there is a worldwide migrant crisis, and if the United States doesn’t secure our border, there is no limit to the number of people who may try to come here, because there is no better place on the planet than the United States of America. 

For those who say the steps I’ve taken are too strict, I say to you that — be patient, and good will of the American people are wearing thin right now.  Doing nothing is not an option.  We have to act.  We must act consistent with both our law and our values — our value as Americans.

I take these steps today not to walk away from who we are as Americans but to make sure we preserve who we are for future generations to come. 

Today, I have spoken about what we need to do to secure the border.  In the weeks ahead — and I mean the weeks ahead — I will speak to how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just. 
 
Let’s fix the problem and stop fighting about it.  I’m doing my part.  We’re doing our part.  Congressional Republicans should do their part
.

Fact Sheet: New Actions to Secure the Border

Since his first day in office, President Biden has called on Congress to secure our border and address our broken immigration system. Over the past three years, while Congress has failed to act, the President has acted to secure our border. His Administration has deployed the most agents and officers ever to address the situation at the Southern border, seized record levels of illicit fentanyl at our ports of entry, and brought together world leaders on a framework to deal with changing migration patterns that are impacting the entire Western Hemisphere. 
 
Earlier this year, the President and his team reached a historic bipartisan agreement with Senate Democrats and Republicans to deliver the most consequential reforms of America’s immigration laws in decades. This agreement would have added critical border and immigration personnel, invested in technology to catch illegal fentanyl, delivered sweeping reforms to the asylum system, and provided emergency authority for the President to shut down the border when the system is overwhelmed. But Republicans in Congress chose to put partisan politics ahead of our national security, twice voting against the toughest and fairest set of reforms in decades.
 
President Biden believes we must secure our border. That is why today, he announced executive actions to bar migrants who cross our Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum. These actions will be in effect when high levels of encounters at the Southern Border exceed our ability to deliver timely consequences, as is the case today. They will make it easier for immigration officers to remove those without a lawful basis to remain and reduce the burden on our Border Patrol agents.
 
But we must be clear: this cannot achieve the same results as Congressional action, and it does not provide the critical personnel and funding needed to further secure our Southern border. Congress still must act.
 
The Biden-Harris Administration’s executive actions will:  
 
Bar Migrants Who Cross the Southern Border Unlawfully From Receiving Asylum

  • President Biden issued a proclamation under Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) suspending entry of noncitizens who cross the Southern border into the United States unlawfully. This proclamation is accompanied by an interim final rule from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security that restricts asylum for those noncitizens.
    • These actions will be in effect when the Southern border is overwhelmed, and they will make it easier for immigration officers to quickly remove individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.
    • These actions are not permanent. They will be discontinued when the number of migrants who cross the border between ports of entry is low enough for America’s system to safely and effectively manage border operations. These actions also include similar humanitarian exceptions to those included in the bipartisan border agreement announced in the Senate, including those for unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking.

Recent Actions to secure our border and address our broken immigration system:
 
Strengthening the Asylum Screening Process

  • The Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule to ensure that migrants who pose a public safety or national security risk are removed as quickly in the process as possible rather than remaining in prolonged, costly detention prior to removal. This proposed rule will enhance security and deliver more timely consequences for those who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.

Announced new actions to more quickly resolve immigration cases

  • The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security launched a Recent Arrivals docket to more quickly resolve a portion of immigration cases for migrants who attempt to cross between ports of entry at the Southern border in violation of our immigration laws.
    • Through this process, the Department of Justice will be able to hear these cases more quickly and the Department of Homeland Security will be able to more quickly remove individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States and grant protection to those with valid claims.
    • The bipartisan border agreement would have created and supported an even more efficient framework for issuing final decisions to all asylum seekers. This new process to reform our overwhelmed immigration system can only be created and funded by Congress.

Revoked visas of CEOs and government officials who profit from migrants coming to the U.S. unlawfully

  • The Department of State imposed visa restrictions on executives of several Colombian transportation companies who profit from smuggling migrants by sea. This action cracks down on companies that help facilitate unlawful entry into the United States, and sends a clear message that no one should profit from the exploitation of vulnerable migrants.
    • The State Department also imposed visa restrictions on over 250 members of the Nicaraguan government, non-governmental actors, and their immediate family members for their roles in supporting the Ortega-Murillo regime, which is selling transit visas to migrants from within and beyond the Western Hemisphere who ultimately make their way to the Southern border.
    • Previously, the State Department revoked visas of executives of charter airlines for similar actions.

Expanded Efforts to Dismantle Human Smuggling and Support Immigration Prosecutions

  • The Departments of State and Justice launched an “Anti-Smuggling Rewards” initiative designed to dismantle the leadership of human smuggling organizations that bring migrants through Central America and across the Southern U.S. border. The initiative will offer financial rewards for information leading to the identification, location, arrest, or conviction of those most responsible for significant human smuggling activities in the region.
    • The Department of Justice will seek new and increased penalties against human smugglers to properly account for the severity of their criminal conduct and the human misery that it causes.
    • The Department of Justice is also partnering with the Department of Homeland Security to direct additional prosecutors and support staff to increase immigration-related prosecutions in crucial border U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Efforts include deploying additional DHS Special Assistant United States Attorneys to different U.S. Attorneys’ offices, assigning support staff to critical U.S. Attorneys’ offices, including DOJ Attorneys to serve details in U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in several border districts, and partnering with federal agencies to identify additional resources to target these crimes.

Enhancing Immigration Enforcement

  • The Department of Homeland Security has surged agents to the Southern border and is referring a record number of people into expedited removal.
    • The Department of Homeland Security is operating more repatriation flights per week than ever before. Over the past year, DHS has removed or returned more than 750,000 people, more than in every fiscal year since 2010.
    • Working closely with partners throughout the region, the Biden-Harris Administration is identifying and collaborating on enforcement efforts designed to stop irregular migration before migrants reach our Southern border, expand investment and integration opportunities in the region to support those who may otherwise seek to migrate, and increase lawful pathways for migrants as an alternative to irregular migration. 

Seizing Fentanyl at our Border

  • Border officials have seized more fentanyl at ports of entry in the last two years than the past five years combined, and the President has added 40 drug detection machines across points of entry to disrupt the fentanyl smuggling into the Homeland. The bipartisan border agreement would fund the installation of 100 additional cutting-edge inspection machines to help detect fentanyl at our Southern border ports of entry.

In close partnership with the Government of Mexico, the Department of Justice has extradited Nestor Isidro Perez Salaz, known as “El Nini,” from Mexico to the United States to face prosecution for his role in illicit fentanyl trafficking and human rights abuses. This is one of many examples of joint efforts with Mexico to tackle the fentanyl and synthetic drug epidemic that is killing so many people in our countries and globally, and to hold the drug trafficking organizations to account

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Calls on Congress to Immediately Pass Bipartisan National Security Agreement with Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Most Americans can trace their roots back to Ellis Island, when America, desperate for workers to build roads, bridges, railroads, factories and skyscrapers, wanted workers. Now, despite still needing workers, and decrying the “border crisis” as an “invasion” endangering national security, House Republicans are calling a bipartisan immigration deal that gives them everything they have asked for (border security, changing asylum laws) “dead on arrival” in order to appease Trump, so desperate to refuse Biden a “victory” and keep the inflammatory issue alive for his campaign. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports the bipartisan agreement announced in the Senate that would address a number of pressing national security issues. President Biden has repeatedly said he is willing to work in a bipartisan way to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system. From his first day in office, he has called on Congress to act and over the course of several months, his administration has worked with a bipartisan group of Senators on important reforms and necessary funding.

This agreement, if passed into law, would be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve had in decades. It will make our country safer, make our border more secure, and treat people fairly and humanely while preserving legal immigration, consistent with our values as a nation. This bipartisan national security agreement would also advance our national security interests by continuing our support for the people of Ukraine and Israel as they defend themselves against tyranny and terrorism while also providing much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by conflicts around the world. The Biden-Harris Administration calls on Congress to not delay and immediately pass the bipartisan national security agreement.
 
Provides Temporary Emergency Authority for the President to Shut Down the Border When the System is Overwhelmed

  • Establishes a new temporary authority, the “Border Emergency Authority,” that allows the President and Secretary of Homeland Security to temporarily prohibit individuals from seeking asylum, with limited exceptions, when the Southwest Border is overwhelmed. The authority preserves access to other protections, consistent with our international obligations, and will sunset after three years.
    • Importantly, this authority is to be used when the number of migrants encountered at the border reaches very high levels – levels that strain the U.S. government’s ability to process migrants.  Additionally, the authority is limited to a set number of days each calendar year – in the third year of implementation the authority may only be exercised for half of a given calendar year.
    • The United States is a country of refuge for those fleeing persecution. For that reason, the legislation requires asylum access be preserved for a minimum number of individuals per day, limited to those using a safe and orderly process at ports of entry, when the authority is invoked.

 
Expedites Access to Work Authorization for Hundreds of Thousands of Migrants

  • Ensures that those who are here and qualify are able to get to work faster. It provides work authorization to asylum seekers once they receive a positive protection screening determination. This will allow asylum seekers to begin to support themselves and their families in the United States much earlier than the current 180-day statutorily required waiting period, which only begins after an individual submits an asylum application.  This will also reduce the resource strain on our cities and states who have been supporting asylum seekers during this existing waiting period.
    • This bill provides work authorization to approximately 25,000 K-1, K-2, and K-3 nonimmigrant visa holders (fiancé or spouse and children of U.S. citizens) per year, and about 100,000 H-4 spouses and children of certain H-1B nonimmigrant visa holders who have completed immigrant petitions (temporary skilled workers) per year, so they no longer have to apply and wait for approval before they can begin working in the United States.

 
Establishes an Efficient and Fair Process for Consideration of Asylum and other Protection Claims by those arriving at our Southwest Border

  • Today, the process to get to a final decision on a migrant’s asylum claim can take 5-7 years.  That is far too long.  Once fully implemented, this bipartisan agreement would – for the first time – give the Administration the authority and resources to reduce that process to 6 months.  This gets people quick decisions on their asylum claims rather than leaving them and their families in limbo for years.
    • The agreement also for the first time gives Asylum Officers the authority to grant a claim at the protection screening stage if the case is clear and convincing, thereby reducing the strain on the asylum system.

 
Recalibrates the Asylum Screening Process

  • Moves consideration of statutory bars to asylum eligibility, such as criminal convictions, into the screening stage. This will ensure that those who pose a public safety or national security risk are removed as quickly in the process as possible rather than remaining in prolonged, costly detention prior to removal.
    • Modifies the screening threshold for asylum from “significant possibility” to “reasonable possibility,” with the goal of making it more likely that those who are screened in to pursue protection claims are ultimately found to have a valid asylum claim.  Currently, of all migrants screened in and allowed to go to the next phase, only roughly 20 percent are ultimately granted asylum. 

 
Provides Critical Funding for Combatting Smuggling and Drug Trafficking, Border Security, and Asylum Processing 

  • Funds the installation of 100 cutting-edge inspection machines to help detect fentanyl at our Southwest Border ports of entry. 
    • Over 1,500 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel including Border Patrol Agents and CBP Officers. 
    • Over 4,300 new Asylum Officers and additional U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services staff to facilitate timely and fair decisions. 
    • 100 new immigration judge teams to help reduce the asylum caseload backlog and adjudicate cases more quickly. 
    • Shelter and critical services for newcomers in our cities and states.  
    • 1,200 new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel for functions including enforcement and deportations. 
    • More resources to fund transportation needs to enable increased removals. 
    • Support to partner nations hosting large numbers of migrants and refugees, and funding to partner nations to ensure cooperation in accepting returns associated with the implementation of the Border Emergency Authority. 

 
Strengthens Federal Law Against Fentanyl Trafficking

  • Declares that international trafficking of fentanyl is a national emergency and gives the President authority to impose sanctions on any foreign person knowingly involved in significant trafficking of fentanyl by a transnational criminal organization.
    • Allows for transfer of sanctioned persons’ forfeited property to forfeiture funds and authorizes Treasury to impose additional restrictions against sanctioned persons upon a determination that their transactions are of primary money laundering concern.
    • Directs Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to issue guidance on filing suspicious transactions reports related to fentanyl trafficking by transnational criminal organizations.

 
Increases Lawful Pathways to Come to the United States

  • For the first time in over 30 years, raises the cap on the number of immigrant visas available annually by adding an additional 250,000 immigrant visas over 5 years (50,000/year).  160,000 of these visas will be family-based, and the other 90,000 will be employment-based.
    • These additional immigrant visas expand lawful pathways to the United States, prioritizing family reunification and reducing the time families have to spend apart, and get U.S. businesses access to additional workers.
    • Establishes a faster pathway to permanent status for the approximately 76,000 Afghan allies who entered the United States under Operation Allies Welcome and their families.

 
Promotes Family Unity and Stability for Noncitizens

  • Provides relief to over 250,000 individuals who came to the United States as children on their parents’ work visa.  These individuals have resided lawfully in the United States since they were children and have established lives here in the U.S but have since “aged out” of continuing to receive lawful status through their parents and have no other means of lawfully remaining in the United States with their families. Noncitizens who lived lawfully in the United States as a dependent child of an employment-based nonimmigrant for at least 8 years before turning 21 will be eligible to remain temporarily in the United States with work authorization.
    • In support of family unity, the bill makes clear that certain noncitizens can travel to the United States on a temporary visitor (B) visa to visit their family members.

 
Ensure the Humane and Fair Treatment of Those Seeking Asylum, Especially the Most Vulnerable 

  • Children should not be expected to represent themselves in a court – and this agreement will provide, for the first time, government-mandated and funded legal counsel for unaccompanied children age 13 or younger as they go through the process to seek asylum.  The bill would also provide counsel to particularly vulnerable, mentally incompetent adults.
    • Strengthens legal requirements that migrants always be provided with clear and accessible information about their rights, including their right to counsel.
    • Mandates that only trained Asylum Officers are permitted to conduct protection screenings.

 
Ukraine:

  • Provides critically-needed military aid to help the people of Ukraine defend themselves against Russian aggression.  Russia continues to launch aerial assaults on Ukrainian cities and is actively attacking Ukrainian forces. 
    • Invests in our defense industrial base, supporting American jobs across our country, and produce weapons and equipment that the United States can send Ukraine to help Ukraine’s military protect its people, defend against Russian attacks, and succeed on the battlefield. 
    • Enables the United States to continue to send economic assistance to Ukraine. Putin has made destroying Ukraine’s economy central to his war strategy and boosting Ukraine’s economy is essential to its survival. If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting. This aid will help Ukraine pay its first responders, import basic goods, and provide essential services to its population. 
       

Israel:

  • Authorizes the United States to provide additional military aid to help Israel defend itself from Hamas, which committed horrific acts of terror on October 7th, and whose leaders have pledged to repeat the attacks of October 7th over and over again until Israel is annihilated.  
    • The aid in this agreement will also help Israel replenish its air defenses and ensure it is prepared for any future contingencies. 
    • This includes its defense against Iran and groups backed by Iran, including Hezbollah. The funding in this agreement is essential to supporting Israel’s short- and long-term defense needs against a broad array of immediate and future threats.  

 
Humanitarian Aid:

  • Includes important humanitarian aid funding to help civilians in need around the world, whether it’s to address the spillover effects of Putin’s war and help Ukrainians who have been displaced by Russia’s invasion, or to help Palestinians in Gaza, where we are actively working to increase the flow of aid for Palestinian civilians who have nothing to do with Hamas.

 
Indo-Pacific:

  • Provides resources to help our allies and partners in the region build the capabilities necessary to address threats from an increasingly assertive PRC and to meet emerging challenges. It is critically important that we maintain our focus on the Indo-Pacific and preserve peace and stability. 

White House Memo: Comprehensive Steps Biden Administration Taking to Secure Border While Republicans Obstruct Immigration Policy, Root for Chaos

Back in January, President Biden was imploring Congress to address immigration policy and the border policy and enforcement. The Republicans instead have manufactured a debt crisis tied to spending cuts for border protection © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via MSNBC.

So this is what a competent, caring government administration looks like! The widely heralded mass chaos after Title 42 was lifted failed to produce the “invasion” of the southern border that right wing politicians hoped for, indeed, did all they could to insure would come to pass. It did not, largely because of the comprehensive steps the Biden Administration took to secure the border, even in face of Republican obstruction. It also provides a sense of what a rational, humane, ongoing immigration policy would look like. But it is important to recognize that not never or ever did President Biden, President Obama, President Clinton or the Democrats advocate for “open borders.” What they have advocated for going back decades, is a rationale, humane policy Here is a memo outlining the steps the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to secure the border, while Congress ties the administration’s hands and Congressional Republicans maneuver to make things that much worse and needlessly painful. I’m betting you haven’t heard a peep about any of it—Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Pentagon is sending up to 1500 troops to support Border Patrol and supporting a massive counter-smuggling operation in the Darien Gap. The Department of Homeland Security is expanding detention capacity, surging resources and technology to support border communities, and deploying hundreds more asylum officers and immigration judges to quickly and humanely process migrants. The State Department is opening Regional Processing Centers across the Western Hemisphere to direct migrants to lawful pathways and reduce unlawful immigration.

This is a plan that draws on measures we know work, but it is also a plan constrained by the fact that, not only has Congress dealt us a bad hand, House Republicans are actively trying to make things worse.

After spending four years helping former President Trump gut our immigration system and the last two years blocking the reforms and funds to fix it, Speaker McCarthy and MAGA Republicans are taking an even more extreme turn to undermine border security. They voted to take 2,000 Border Patrol agents off the federal payroll. They opposed increased funding for border security. And their colleagues in the states are in court trying to block measures that are actually bringing unlawful immigration down.

The impact? A more porous border with less enforcement. President Biden won’t allow it.

1.       THE BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINSITRATION HAS A COMPREHENSIVE, MULTI-AGENCY, MULTI-COUNTRY PLAN TO MANAGE THE BORDER.

The Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense are using the tools available to prepare and take steps to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane manner.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s plan is rooted in enforcement.

When Title 42 lifts, DHS will return to processing migrants using Title 8 expedited removal authorities. Individuals without a legal basis to stay will be promptly removed, barred from re-entry for five years, and face potential criminal prosecution.

Multiple agencies are taking steps to prepare for this transition and enforce long-standing immigration laws, including:

  • DOD is sending 1,500 troops to the border (bringing the total to 4,000 troops), and DHS is bringing on thousands of contractors and non-uniformed employees to support in administrative tasks to free up the agency’s 24,000 agents and officers to focus on frontline duties.
  • DHS and DOJ is surging hundreds more asylum officers and immigration judges to the border to expedite processing times from months to days. Credible Fear Interviews will take place early in the process, while in CBP or ICE custody with the ability to access to legal services, enabling DHS to quickly remove those who don’t have a legal basis to remain.
  • DHS is vastly expanding holding capacity and ICE substantially scaling up the number of weekly removal flights, with the number of flights doubling or tripling for some countries.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s plan is rooted in deterrence.

The transition back to Title 8 processing for all individuals encountered at the border will be effective immediately when the Title 42 order lifts. Individuals who unlawfully cross the U.S. Southwest border will be processed in a matter of days, barred from reentry for at least five years if ordered removed, and would be presumed ineligible for asylum under a proposed regulation, absent an applicable exception

To help individuals avoid these consequences and direct them to the many lawful pathways we have expanded over the past two years, State and DHS are:

  • Opening Regional Processing Centers in key locations in the Western Hemisphere to reduce irregular migration and rapidly process eligible individuals for lawful pathways to the United States, Canada, Spain, and other countries
  • Surging the presence of Panamanian, Colombian, and American personnel to the Darien to reclaim authority of this region and root out the criminal smuggling networks
  • Ramping up efforts to counter lies and disinformation spread by human traffickers through sophisticated, targeted social media advertising campaigns and collaboration with independent influencers throughout the region
  • Expanding access to the CBPOne App for noncitizens to schedule an appointment to arrive at a port of entry rather than trying to enter between ports
  • Creating new family reunification parole processes for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia as an additional lawful pathway
  • Doubling the number of refugees from the Western Hemisphere as an additional lawful pathway
  • Accepting up to 30,000 individuals per month from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti as part of the expanded parole processes announced earlier this year
  • Imposing consequences for migrants who fail to use lawful pathways, including a five-year bar on reentry and presumption of ineligibility for asylum under a proposed regulation

The Biden-Harris Administration’s plan is rooted in diplomacy.

One country alone cannot manage this regional challenge. The State Department is bringing multiple countries together to jointly manage this challenge and implement these measures.

Our diplomatic efforts are producing results:

  • We secured repatriation agreements from countries in the Western Hemisphere, including diplomatic efforts with Mexico to quickly remove individuals who cannot be returned to their countries of origin
  • Mexico and the United States are stepping up joint enforcement actions to counter-human smugglers and traffickers that are exploiting migrants.
  • Mexico and the United States will redouble their development efforts that focus on people-to-people support.

2.     CONGRESS DEALT US A BAD HAND, AND CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT WORSE.

Multiple federal agencies are working to manage the border using the tools they have. But Congress needs to update our immigration laws, pure and simple. And it’s not like Congress hasn’t had the opportunity:

  • In 2013, the Senate on a bipartisan basis passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, but House Republicans refused to take up the bill.
  • In 2018, a bipartisan group of Senators advanced the Uniting and Securing America Act to protect Dreamers and provide pathway to citizenship, but Senate Republicans blocked it.
  • Again in 2018, the Senate tried to advance the United and Securing America Act “Common Sense” Proposal Amendment, but Senate Republicans blocked it.
  • Yet again in 2018, the Uniting and Securing America Act made it to the Senate floor, but was blocked.
  • In 2019, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act, but Senate Republicans blocked it.
  • In 2021, the House again passed the American Dream and Promise Act, but Senate Republicans again blocked it.
  • In 2021 and 2022, the President proposed record funding for more border agents, more asylum officers, more immigration judges, more border technology, and more detention capacity. Republicans in Congress failed to fund these both requests.

Our immigration laws are so bad and outdated that Border Patrol agents can’t even issue electronic notices to migrants and instead have to create a paper file on each and every migrant that crosses our southern border. It’s absurd. Republicans in Congress have failed the American people by repeatedly blocking solutions.

But what’s even more outrageous is that not only has Congress dealt us a bad hand, House Republicans are actively trying to make things worse.

  • We requested $4.9 billion for border security and management. Congress only gave us half of that.
    • This was funding to expand detention capacity and beds, provide medical services, and surge personnel.
  • It was funding to help track migrants as they await their immigration proceedings, ramp up removal flights, and move migrants out of cities facing a significant surge.
  • We requested more Border Patrol agents. Instead,House Republicans recently passed a bill to fire 2,000 agents and next week are advancing a bill that would force Americans to waste even more money on a wall that migrants are cutting through, climbing over, and digging under – and that Mexico definitely did not pay for.
    • President Biden requested record border security funding to keep 24,000 Border Patrol agents and officers on payroll – and hire hundreds more.
  • House Republicans not only vastly increased that funding in the FY22 and FY23 funding packages, but actually passed a bill to cut 2,000 Border Patrol agents at a time when we’re preparing for a surge.
  • We implemented measures that brought unlawful immigration down significantly. Republican elected officials ran to court to try to block those measures.
    • Within weeks of us announcing new border enforcement measures, the number of people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela crossing unlawfully declined by 97%.
    • 20 states filed a federal lawsuit to block these measures.  If they get their way, there will be a surge of unlawful border crossings like no other.
  • We’re expediting the immigration process to quickly remove individuals who don’t have a lawful basis to stay. Governor Abbott is instead busing those migrants to cities all across America, making this work harder.
  • We’re taking thousands of smugglers off the streets and ramping up efforts to counter their misinformation. Republican elected officials are driving additional profits to criminal smugglers by ramping up their false “open borders” rhetoric.

House Republicans are pushing a MAGA agenda of chaos and inaction. They are playing politics when they should be joining the President in pursuing real solutions, – and they should answer for their repeated attempts to open our borders.

Meanwhile, the Administration took a stance to oppose HR2-Secure the Border Act of 2023 (Rep.Diaz-Balart, R-FL, and 15 cosponsors. Here is the statement from the Office of Management & Budget, issued May 8:

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 2 – Secure the Border Act of 2023
(Rep. Diaz-Balart, R-FL, and 15 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports productive efforts to reform the Nation’s immigration system but opposes H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which makes elements of our immigration system worse.  A successful border management strategy must include robust enforcement at the border of illegal crossings, deterrence to discourage illegal immigration, and legal pathways to ensure that those in need of protection are not turned away to face death or serious harm. 

The Biden-Harris Administration’s approach to border management is grounded in this strategy – expanding legal pathways while increasing consequences for illegal pathways, which helps maintain safe, orderly, and humane border processing.  However, the Administration is limited in what it can achieve by an outdated statutory framework and inadequate resources, particularly in this time of unprecedented global movement.  H.R. 2 does nothing to address the root causes of migration, reduces humanitarian protections, and restricts lawful pathways, which are critical alternatives to unlawful entry.

The bill would cut off nearly all access to humanitarian protections in ways that are inconsistent with our Nation’s values and international obligations.  In addition, the bill would make processing less efficient by prohibiting the use of the CBP One mobile application to process noncitizens and restricting DHS’s parole authority, such that successful programs, like “Uniting for Ukraine,” would be prohibited.  The bill would also reduce authorized funding for essential programs including the Shelter and Services Program that provides a critical source of funds for state and local governments and reduces pressure at the border. 

While we welcome Congress’ engagement on meaningful steps to address immigration and the challenges at the border, this bill would make things worse, not better.  Because this bill does very little to actually increase border security while doing a great deal to trample on the Nation’s core values and international obligations, it should be rejected.

If the President were presented with H.R. 2, he would veto it.