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Biden readies executive order to limit asylum and close the southwest border

The executive order that would impose significant restrictions on asylum claims and allow closure of the border from Mexico once certain thresholds for illegal crossings are exceeded

Presidente de Estados Unidos Joe Biden
Presidente de Estados Unidos Joe Biden | EFE

June 3, 2024 9:17pm

Updated: June 4, 2024 12:40pm

President Biden is reportedly preparing to sign an executive order that will impose significant restrictions on asylum claims and allow closure of the border with Mexico once certain thresholds for illegal crossings are exceeded. The measure, which is expected to be announced this Tuesday, already has the support of several mayors of southwest border cities, many of whom have seen their communities seriously affected by the increase in migrants.

According to news reports, the initiative will allow U.S. immigration officials to quickly deport migrants who enter the country illegally without processing their asylum claims when border crossings exceed a certain number.

This figure, still under discussion, could be activated when more than 4,000 irregular daily crossings are registered. Additionally, the partial ban on asylum claims would be implemented if daily arrests exceeded 2,500, according to CBS News.

In May, the U.S. Border Patrol reported an average of 3,800 daily arrests, indicating the possible proximity to the proposed threshold. However, the final figures could be adjusted at the last minute.

Despite these restrictions, the processing of asylum applications at border ports of entry will continue. Currently, the Biden administration processes about 1,500 migrants daily at these official points using a smartphone app-based system that distributes appointments to those waiting in Mexico. Unaccompanied children will be exempt from this new executive order.

Record numbers of apprehensions were recorded at the border with Mexico last year, although these numbers have dropped considerably so far in 2024.

In April, U.S. authorities reported 128,900 apprehensions of migrants attempting to cross irregularly, compared to almost 250,000 arrests by December 2023. Experts and officials attribute these reductions to the actions implemented by Mexico to detain people on their journey north.

Biden's new move comes at a crucial time, after the presidential election in Mexico and weeks before his first presidential debate with former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Immigration remains a hot-button issue for voters and Republicans are eager to use the issue to criticize Biden in the upcoming election.