Courts pass lifeline to Biden as immigrants surge towards the border

Immigrants, primarily from Central America and Haiti, await the International Bridge entering the United States on August 23, 2021 in Matamoros, Mexico, seeking asylum.  (Daniele Volpe / New York Times).

Immigrants, primarily from Central America and Haiti, await the International Bridge entering the United States on August 23, 2021 in Matamoros, Mexico, seeking asylum. (Daniele Volpe / The New York Times).

Matamoros, Mexico — It looked like a big defeat to President Joe Biden when the Supreme Court effectively revived the cornerstone of immigration policy during the Trump era at the end of last month.

After all, Biden accused asylum seekers of waiting in Mexico as “inhumane” and actively promoted the dismantling of former President Donald Trump’s toughest immigration policy. As part of, it was suspended on the first day of inauguration.

But among some Biden officials, the Supreme Court’s order was quietly greeted with something other than disappointment, the current and former officials said: it provided some relief.

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Prior to that ruling, Biden’s steps to begin loosening the reins of migration overwhelmed the southwestern border of the United States, followed by a surge in people heading north soon. Immigration concerns hit a 20-year high in July, and authorities are concerned that they will continue until the fall.

There was already growing concern within the Biden administration that the rapid change in immigrants could have prompted the influx of immigrants into the United States, now and according to former officials.

In fact, some Biden officials had already talked about reviving Trump’s policies in a limited way to prevent immigration, officials said. Then came the Supreme Court’s order to provide the Biden administration with political cover to somehow adopt the policy without causing much anger from Democrats who cursed Trump’s border policy.

Now officials say they have the opportunity to take a step back and come up with a more humane version of Trump’s policy, reducing the huge number of people arriving at the border.

Alan Bersin, Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection under President Barak, said: Obama.

The policy at the heart of the case (generally known to stay in Mexico) quickly became one of the most controversial elements of Trump’s immigration agenda, as it overturned the central provisions of the country’s asylum system. I did. Instead of allowing migrants to enter the United States while courts are evaluating their allegations, it has kidnapped thousands of asylum seekers, extortion and other reports of serious abuse in Mexico. I made you wait in a filthy camp.

After Biden suspended policy, Texas and Missouri sued the administration, claiming that the influx of people “imposed a serious and ongoing burden” on the state. The Supreme Court refused to block the lower court’s ruling demanding the restoration of the program and forced the Biden administration to comply with it during the appeal process.

But the ambiguities in every corner of the Biden administration could fate the hope that the border crisis could affect Democrats in elections and push for a more important review of the country’s immigration and asylum system. It reflects a wide range of concerns.

“They are back in the corner of the broader immigration agenda,” said Doris Meissner, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1993 to 2000, about the Biden administration. “The only tool available in the short term is almost pure enforcement.”

After taking office, Biden not only allowed immigrants to apply for asylum in the United States, but also refused to immediately expel unaccompanied children and moved to freeze deportation.

As immigrants surged to the border, Republicans attacked the new administration on multiple fronts, forcing the president to withdraw from major campaign promises and offending some of his bases.

Biden then relied on Mexico and Central America to strengthen its own border enforcement. However, that effort has not significantly constrained the flow to the north, leading to violent attacks on migrants by law enforcement agencies in those countries.

The administration tried to change the tone of welcome it had set early, but sent Vice President Kamala Harris to Guatemala in June to declare that the border was closed, but immigrants and smugglers were on Biden’s term. Everyone says he remembers the encouragement signal that was sent at the beginning.

“I’ve heard the news that the United States has opened its borders,” said Abraham Barberi, a minister in the border city of Matamoros, saying that immigrants routinely talk to him. So many people are in town. Barbery turned his church into a shelter for immigrants, as his mother and his toddler began to appear at his door shortly after Biden took office.

“The Biden administration said,’We’re going to accept people,'” Barberi told Zigzag between the thin mattresses that now cover the church floor. “At that time, everyone was flooded.”

Thousands of asylum seekers have been gradually brought into the United States after Biden’s end of Trump’s policy of forcing a wait in Mexico, according to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which is tracking migration data. .. But almost immediately, Barberi said a new eruption of immigrants had emerged.

As a result, Barberi packed dozens of bunk beds into Bible school classrooms and stuffed shelves with diapers, infant formula, and medicine. “Many people will get stuck here,” Barbieri said if the policy of staying in Mexico was revived.

Among them is Marilyn Lopez, who fled her son and Honduras in 2019 after facing constant murder threats. When she arrived in Mexico, she said the hostages handed her to the armed men who held her hostage for months. After figuring out a ransom and finally reaching the border, she encountered two kidnappers in Matamoros, began to hide and was unable to appear on some of her asylum appointments, she said.

Under Trump, the United States allowed less than 2% of all applicants asylum under a policy of staying in Mexico, according to the Syracuse University Information Center. Most of those denied asylum, like Lopez, who was so afraid to walk around Matamoros, a city that the State Department warns Americans to visit for “crime and kidnapping,” are dated in court. I missed.

In late August, after the Biden administration announced that it would resume some of these cases, Lopez applied for another claim of protection.

A few days later, Lopez received a text message from a UN representative in support of her petition. After the Supreme Court’s ruling, all proceedings were suspended while waiting for clarification.

“They killed all our hopes,” Lopez said. “The Biden government has promised a lot, and now we feel fooled.”

It’s not yet clear how the Biden administration will respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling, but US and Mexican officials say discussions have already begun on the implementation of a new version of Remain in Mexico.

In a statement, Roberto Velasco, Chief Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said in a statement that the Supreme Court would not direct Mexico’s immigration policy to be “determined and implemented in sovereignty.”

Mexico recently proposed forming a working group with the United States, and Mr Velasco said “to control the anomalous flow seen by both countries.” He said Mexico would oppose any move to reopen the camp along the border. This is also a politically challenging move in the United States. When First Lady Jill Biden toured the Matamoros camp in 2019, she described it as tragic.

“I have witnessed the pain of refugees around the world, but seeing it at our borders felt like a betrayal,” she said in a post-visit Twitter post, “This cruelty is me. It’s not who they are, “he added.

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