The Biden administration is seriously considering whether to mirror Trump-era policies to better secure the border ahead of an expected illegal migrant surge when Title 42, a public health expulsion order, ends on Dec. 21, Axios reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The potential plan includes barring more illegal migrants from entry while pushing for increased use of legal pathways and pressuring other countries to increase asylum offers and enhance border security, Axios reported, citing two U.S. sources familiar with internal discussions.
The border is expected to see more chaos on top of continued records of illegal migrant encounters when Title 42, which has resulted in the expulsion of over 2 million illegal migrants who crossed the southern border, ends, multiple Border Patrol agents previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
A federal judge ruled on Nov. 15 that the policy, which was implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, must end and gave the Biden administration time to prepare for the expected influx.
“As we prepare to transition to the next phase of our work to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane way, the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] will continue to double down on these proven strategies,” a Biden official told Axios.
The tools the Biden administration is weighing to deport and prosecute more illegal migrants resemble some of the Trump administration’s strategies to secure the border, according to Axios.
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Single adult illegal migrants will be quickly removed if they hadn’t previously applied for entry through legal pathways in the U.S. or in the countries they passed through, with some exceptions, according to Axios. The Biden administration wants to increase criminal prosecutions of illegal border crossings for single adults, especially those who evaded arrest by federal border authorities, according to Axios.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), however, might not agree to such a plan, Axios reported, citing one anonymous source.
Roughly 66,000 illegal migrants evaded apprehension by border authorities in October alone, a Department of Homeland Security official previously told the DCNF.
“At the same time, we’re eyes wide open to the reality that, despite all the progress we’ve made, we’re continuing to work within the constraints of a decades-old broken immigration system that Republican officials refuse to allow us to fix,” the official told Axios.
The Biden administration is also seeking to increase the cap on the number of Venezuelans who can apply for legal entry as part of a program that began in October, according to Axios. It’s also looking to possibly allow Nicaraguans to do the same.
Migrants would also be able to use a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) application to schedule a meeting at a U.S. port of entry, where they can seek legal entry, according to Axios.
The current surge has overwhelmed the capacity of Border Patrol and other federal agencies, forcing authorities to release many of them onto American streets to await their court dates.