US Border Patrol Instructed to Release Migrants Despite Biden’s Asylum Ban

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US Border Patrol Instructed to Release Migrants Despite Biden’s Asylum Ban

The Biden administration has directed the U.S. Border Patrol to admit migrants from most Eastern Hemisphere countries, contradicting a recent presidential proclamation to limit asylum seekers.

On Friday, the Biden administration instructed the U.S. Border Patrol to admit, rather than remove, migrants from nearly all Eastern Hemisphere countries. This directive contradicts President Biden’s proclamation earlier in the week to cap asylum seekers at 2,500 per day.

According to a report by The Washington Examiner, a government document was issued to federal law enforcement in San Diego, California, advising that migrants from over 100 Eastern Hemisphere countries should be released into the U.S. instead of being placed in removal proceedings. Only adults from Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan would be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for expedited removal.

Contradicting Directives

This directive is at odds with statements made by senior Biden administration officials, who emphasized the challenge posed by “extra-hemispheric migrants” and highlighted efforts to repatriate individuals to countries with historically difficult return processes. The administration has conducted repatriation flights to countries such as India, China, Uzbekistan, Mauritania, and Senegal in recent months.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official confirmed that while San Diego agents received instructions to admit most Eastern Hemisphere migrants, agents would continue to put migrants of all nationalities into expedited removal proceedings. The official also cited a lack of funding to fully implement the president’s order on a broader scale.

Enforcement Discretion

Border enforcement varies by region based on migrant demographics. For instance, South Texas more easily removes migrants from Central America and Mexico, whereas California encounters migrants from Asia, Europe, and Africa, making repatriation more challenging.

Political Implications

The updated guidance arrives amidst conflicting policies and upcoming elections. The Biden administration has faced criticism for its handling of immigration, with recent policies aimed at limiting annual entries to under a million people.

Critics argue that the administration’s contradictory actions undermine its stance on immigration control. An opinion piece in the New York Times recently supported Biden’s curb on immigration, while the Washington Post described the new immigration policy as an admission of failure.

Despite efforts to control immigration, the Biden administration’s mixed messages continue to fuel debates over its effectiveness and commitment to enforcing immigration laws.