Biden facing pressure over expected easing of asylum restrictions
Bipartisan pressure mounts over Biden as concerns are mooted over the expiry of Title 42 looms on the horizon.
There is bipartisan pressure on US President Joe Biden to take action regarding the surge of asylum seekers on the southern border as restrictions imposed during the pandemic are set to end this week.
Cities that lie on the US southern border are expected to see an influx of asylum seekers after after a US judge took the initiative last month to strike down a Trump-era policy adopted in 2020 to allow migration authorities to reject asylum seekers and even forcefully deport them back home.
Title 42 is a public health order enacted under former president Donald Trump, which allows for the swift removal of migrants under the excuse of public health reasons (meaning COVID-19). The Biden administration made use of the order to force out tens of thousands of migrants.
This has caused asylum seekers to rally at the US-Mexico border awaiting the easing of restrictions, which could earn them a place in the US.
El Paso, Texas, declared Saturday a state of emergency due to migrants sleeping on its streets despite the harsh and cold weather, in addition to those being arrested and deported every day.
Republican Representative Tony Gonzales called on Biden to revive the former policies that had tried to expedite asylum review as well as deportations.
Democrat Representative Henry Cuellar, meanwhile, called on Biden to enact a policy requiring that asylum seekers only be able to request at official border crossing points.
"And if they don't follow that pathway they need to go back," Cuellar on CBS's Face the Nation.
After making stricter immigration policies one of their main campaign messages and then garnering a majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans are now demanding that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas be impeached for his "failure" of a border policy under Biden.
The end of Title 42 would bring "total chaos," argued Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, one of the most staunch anti-immigration politicians in the nation.
Various distinguished politicians and officials called on Biden to demand an extension of Title 42 due to the repercussions it may bear for the United States.
This comes about a year after a group of Haitian migrants filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the US government, following their "humiliating" experience at the US border with Mexico in Del Rio, Texas.
The experience with Border Patrol agents, who were on horseback, gained infamy as a result of the agents' use of violence.
The lawsuit included a statement by one of the plaintiffs, Mirard Joseph, who said Border Patrol agents on horseback lashed at him.
Read more: Haitians file lawsuit against US government over migrant treatment
Meanwhile, the fiscal year 2022 already recorded 1.8 million arrests of migrants by US border agents. Since the start of Joe Biden's term in office, more than one million migrants have entered the US, per figures cited by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
US CBP agents are notorious for the abuse and mistreatment of both migrants and the procedures of keeping them safe, as they flee dangerous regions to find security. Human Rights Watch found last year October shocking cases of sexual and physical abuse of asylum seekers at the southern US border by federal authorities, following a years-long struggle to extract evidence from the Department of Homeland Security. The abuses range from juvenile sexual abuse to forced starvation, rape threats, and harsh incarceration circumstances.
Furthermore, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has cautioned in June that the US is struggling to manage its southern border, accusing it of "lack of control" after more than 50 immigrants were killed while being smuggled into the country.
The grim discovery was one of the worst disasters involving migrants in recent years, and it occurred five years after a similar deadly incident in the same central Texas city, just hours from the Mexican border.
Republicans have pointed fingers at Joe Biden for his adamancy to “undo everything former President Donald Trump had done” leading to the chaos at the southern border, condemning Biden's “open border policies” and the diminishing of a number of restrictive measures against illegal migrants set in place by Trump.