The Trump-era border restrictions known as Title 42 expired on Thursday, May 18. These are the policies that, in the name of limiting the COVID pandemic, turned away asylum-seekers and forced thousands of people to wait in Mexico in dangerous situations. Trump’s border policies generated scandals and horror stories, from child separation, to mass imprisonment and repression. When Biden was running for president, he and other Democrats criticized these policies and called them cruel and inhumane. Now that Biden’s administration has control of the border, what are they doing?
The Biden administration’s border policy, put in place after Title 42, is even harsher. Now, migrants seeking asylum will be automatically denied unless they apply for asylum in another country first. Migrants, including children, who enter the U.S. without securing an appointment with border officials will also be denied asylum. The Biden administration has announced that it will speed up fast-track removal, allowing border agents to rapidly expel people from the country. This was a policy he once criticized when it was undertaken by the Trump administration. In addition, the Biden administration has announced that it will increase restrictions on asylum qualification, making it harder for people who are fleeing violence and other dangers to enter the U.S.
With the door slammed shut, an estimated 360,000 migrants could find themselves stranded in Mexico, where they will be prey to drug cartels and criminal gangs, and starved and deprived of housing by the limited resources of the Mexican state.