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Biden’s Latest Immigration Policy Is Disturbingly Trumpian

New face, same bullsh*t.

An immigration rights protester holds a Biden/Harris campaign sign with a handwritten tag reading "on their Trump era"

A new Biden administration policy announced Tuesday could stop thousands of immigrants per day from entering the U.S. through the Mexican border. Biden’s newest plan seeks to deny the majority of immigrants seeking entry and asylum in the U.S. unless they can prove they have already sought protection in the country they’ve passed through, generally Mexico, among other difficult-to-meet requirements. Migrants must also schedule appointments with border officials at points of entry through an app, but applicants say appointments have already filled up quickly, and that the app is buggy. 

If it’s not immediately clear from this initial description just how inhumane this new immigration policy is, wait until you hear that it’s almost identical to a Trump-era policy that was considered so brutal, it was blocked in court and never took effect. The new plan establishes “a rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility,” meaning that it allows immigration officials to approach each new migrant’s case with the assumption that they are not eligible for asylum in the U.S. So this sounds a lot like a legal system operating on the principle that the accused are guilty until proven innocent. Wait, that’s not right, is it?

“We are a nation of immigrants, and we are a nation of laws,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement on Tuesday. And yes, this is true. But we can’t forget that “we” as in those in the government and “we” who vote for them, actually just totally make up the laws according to what we try to agree is right. 

“We are strengthening the availability of legal, orderly pathways for migrants to come to the United States, at the same time proposing new consequences on those who fail to use processes made available to them by the United States and its regional partners,” Mayorkas said, pretty much totally ignoring the fact that the number of orderly pathways is drastically smaller than the number of people seeking asylum in order to save their own lives.

The Biden administration has been widely criticized in the past for failing to deliver the progressive immigration policy the president campaigned on. For instance, the president’s appointees have been relying heavily on one of Trump’s policies, called Title 42, which was put into place during the COVID emergency, and has used the guise of public health to prevent entry or expel migrants by the millions. It’s now that Title 42 is set to expire in May that Biden’s new crackdown policy has been announced. 

Biden has also done little to nothing to stop an escalating crisis in the treatment of migrants in Texas. From a horrifying incident in 2021 where Texas border patrol agents were photographed chasing Haitian migrants on horseback with whips, to the ongoing “Operation Lonestar,” where Texas Gov. Greg Abbot has deployed the national guard and military forces to detain and expel migrants in a move a federal judge called “likely illegal,” Biden has made little progress in humane immigration policy.

(featured image: John Moore/Getty Images)

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