Biden sued over new asylum crackdown

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The legal action tests the validity of Biden’s new border policy, which follows extensive internal discussions and aims to counter political criticism of his immigration management…reports Asian Lite News

A coalition of immigrant advocacy groups, led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Wednesday, challenging a recent directive from President Joe Biden that effectively halts asylum claims at the southern border, according to media reports.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and RAICES, claims Biden’s directive is similar to a Trump-era policy previously blocked by the courts, Associated Press reported.

The legal action tests the validity of Biden’s new border policy, which follows extensive internal discussions and aims to counter political criticism of his immigration management.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent stands in front of the border fence that divides the U.S. and Mexico in San Diego, California, the United States, Nov. 17, 2018. (Xinhua/Zhao Hanrong/IANS)

“By enacting an asylum ban that is legally indistinguishable from the Trump ban we successfully blocked, we were left with no choice but to file this lawsuit,” AP report quoted ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt as saying.

Biden’s order, effective since June 5, limits asylum processing when daily migrant encounters between ports of entry exceed 2,500. Current figures are around 4,000 daily.

The restrictions will remain until the average daily encounters fall to 1,500 for two consecutive weeks, a figure last seen in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration anticipates record deportations under this order.

Advocates argue that the policy violates federal immigration laws by suspending asylum for migrants not arriving at designated ports of entry. Biden invoked Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the same legal authority used by the Trump administration, which allows the president to limit entries deemed “detrimental” to national interests.

Despite his criticisms of Trump’s immigration policies, Biden’s directive includes exemptions for humanitarian reasons, such as victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied minors, and those with severe medical emergencies, it was reported.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the directive’s legality and value, acknowledging expected legal challenges.

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