The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden warned Tuesday that any transformational changes in the immigration system will not happen overnight, trying to temper expectations that a Democrat in the White House will unveil quickly. the years of tough and chaotic politics of the Trump administration.
Transition officials have discussed, however, plans to change procedures for those seeking asylum at the southern border. The incoming administration has said it wants to identify the most vulnerable immigrants and deal with their demands first – rather than basing them on first come, first served.
The change is part of the Biden team’s plan to rethink all asylum treatment, transition officials said in a call with reporters.
“The goal is to change the way people are treated at the border, to make the process more efficient, to make it fairer, to make it more humane,” said a Biden transition official. “This means allowing asylum officers to judge claims so that asylum seekers have not been involved in judicial proceedings for years.”
A severe restriction by the Trump administration on immigrants – and all the politics, personnel, and logistical changes that come with it – means the system will have to be put back into operation carefully, a Biden transition official said. .
“It’s a huge challenge, really, because the current administration has broken so many things,” said a transition official.
The Trump administration has issued an order, citing the pandemic, which effectively prevents most immigrants from accessing the U.S. immigration system. Prior to the pandemic, border officials regulated how many immigrants were allowed to enter the United States on official crossings to seek asylum, a process known as queue management or “measurement”.
A Biden transition official said the administration intends to end the measure, which began under the Obama administration because it artificially limits capacity, reduces access to the U.S. immigration system. nationwide, and deterred immigrants from seeking protection in the United States. In October, an Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security report found that U.S. authorities who had removed asylum seekers at official border crossings had told immigrants they had no room to deal with them, regardless of whether they could actually do so.
His plan is different from the measurement because the intention is to increase border processing and give priority to those who need the most protection, a Biden transition official said. The most vulnerable immigrants would be identified with the help of NGOs on the ground.
“Right now people are sleeping outside the front doors to keep a seat online and that’s when we have a public health crisis. A terrible situation,” a Biden transition official said. “The plan is to partner with organizations in Mexico. To ensure that we collaborate and effectively treat people waiting to show up at ports.”
The conversation with reporters came a day after Susan Rice, Biden’s choice to lead the Domestic Policy Council, and Jake Sullivan, his choice for national security adviser, told the news agency in Spanish language EFE that it would take months to fully restore the transformation of asylum at the border.
“The ability to transform at the border is not like a light you can just turn on and off,” Rice told EFE. “Migrants and asylum seekers should absolutely not believe those in the region who sell the idea that the border is suddenly open for treatment all day 1. It won’t be.”
Rice said the Biden administration will address the root causes of migration by working with civil society, the private sector, governments and international partners. The administration said it hopes to implement a $ 4 billion four-year plan to tackle corruption, increase security and promote prosperity in areas where people flee.
“We know that most people don’t choose to leave their country and risk the lives of their family and family, except that home conditions are potentially more dangerous than migration,” Rice told EFE.
Another plan is to expand legal pathways for migration that allow people to apply for resettlement of refugees, temporary workers, and other employment-based programs from the Western Hemisphere, including Guatemala, Honduras. and El Salvador.
Sullivan said the Biden administration would not immediately end Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which force immigrants to wait in Mexico while their U.S. immigration cases are completed. The plan is to end it soon in the Biden administration.
“The MPP has been a disaster from the beginning and has led to a humanitarian crisis in northern Mexico. But implementing the new policy will take time,” Sullivan said. “The current administration has dismantled much of the capacity needed to ensure the safe and orderly processing of migrants. We need time to increase their processing capacity and make it in line with public health needs.”