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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

President Biden Announces Executive Actions to Secure Southern Border

President Biden delivers remarks | White House
President Biden delivers remarks | White House

In response to the ongoing challenges at the Southern border, President Biden has announced a series of executive actions aimed at securing the border and addressing the issue of unlawful migration. These actions come amidst increasing concerns about the influx of migrants and the strain it places on border resources.


Here's a breakdown of the key measures outlined by the Biden-Harris Administration:


1. Bar Migrants from Receiving Asylum: President Biden issued a proclamation under Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a), suspending entry for noncitizens who unlawfully cross the Southern border into the United States. Accompanied by an interim final rule from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, these measures restrict asylum for those noncitizens, making it easier for immigration officers to swiftly remove individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the country.


2. Strengthening Asylum Screening Process: The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a rule to expedite the removal of migrants who pose a public safety or national security risk, ensuring they are swiftly processed rather than languishing in prolonged detention. This move aims to enhance security measures and deliver more timely consequences for those lacking a legal basis to remain in the United States.


3. Resolving Immigration Cases Quickly: The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security have launched a Recent Arrivals docket to expedite the resolution of immigration cases for migrants attempting to cross the Southern border between ports of entry in violation of immigration laws. This initiative enables quicker decision-making on asylum claims while facilitating the prompt removal of individuals without legal standing.


4. Targeting Profiteers and Facilitators: The Biden-Harris Administration has taken steps to revoke visas of CEOs and government officials profiting from unlawful migration to the U.S., cracking down on companies involved in smuggling migrants and sending a clear message against exploitation. Visa restrictions have been imposed on individuals supporting regimes selling transit visas to migrants heading to the Southern border.


5. Dismantling Human Smuggling Networks: A joint initiative by the Departments of State and Justice, dubbed the "Anti-Smuggling Rewards" program, aims to dismantle human smuggling organizations operating in Central America and across the Southern U.S. border. This initiative offers financial incentives for information leading to the identification and prosecution of key smugglers, while seeking increased penalties for their criminal activities.


6. Enhancing Immigration Enforcement: The Department of Homeland Security has increased enforcement efforts at the Southern border, surging agents and referring a record number of individuals for expedited removal. Additionally, repatriation flights have been ramped up, resulting in the removal or return of over 750,000 people in the past year alone.


7. Combatting Drug Trafficking: Border officials have intensified efforts to seize fentanyl at ports of entry, with a significant increase in seizures over the past two years. President Biden has also bolstered detection capabilities by adding 40 drug detection machines across entry points, with plans for further installations under the bipartisan border agreement.


These executive actions represent a concerted effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to address the challenges facing the Southern border. However, it's emphasized that these measures are not a substitute for comprehensive Congressional action, which is needed to provide critical personnel and funding to further secure the border and reform the immigration system.


Source: The White House, June 4th, 2024

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