Biden had promised to end on “day one” a program that requires tens of thousands of asylum seekers, mainly from Central America, to await their U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico. But the president-elect said that creating a system to process thousands of asylum seekers will take months because the government needs funding to put staffers such as “asylum judges” in place.
“The timeline is to do it so that we, in fact, make it better not worse,” Biden said, speaking from his home state of Delaware to deliver remarks ahead of the holiday. “I will do what I said. It’s going to take, not day one, it’s going to take probably the next six months to put that in place.”
Advocates for immigrants hope Biden will terminate the “return to Mexico” policy, known as Migrant Protection Protocols, before the Supreme Court is expected to take it up next year. Biden said he is already working with authorities in Mexico and other Latin American nations, as well as U.S.-based nonprofits, to carve a future path on immigration policy.
Biden said he was not dragging his feet, but “setting up the guard rails” to find a solution to the immigration issue, instead of creating a crisis “that complicates what we’re trying to do.”
Biden echoed what top advisers said this week to manage expectations about the pace of the new administration as they prepare to take office.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call earlier Tuesday, several members of the Biden transition team said the incoming administration would “need time” to undo “damage” to the U.S. immigration system and border enforcement policies that have severely limited the ability of asylum seekers to qualify for humanitarian protection.
The transition officials echoed statements made by Susan E. Rice, Biden’s incoming domestic policy adviser, and Jake Sullivan, his pick for national security adviser, in an exclusive interview published Monday with the Spanish wire service EFE urging patience with their immigration agenda.
Rice told EFE that Biden will use executive authority to implement his immigration agenda, but her cautious statements appeared to reflect the incoming administration’s worries that easing up too quickly on Trump’s enforcement system could trigger a new migration surge at the border.
“Migrants and asylum seekers absolutely should not believe those in the region peddling the idea that the border will suddenly be fully open to process everyone on Day 1. It will not,” Rice said, according to a translation of the interview transcript.
Immigrant advocacy groups and others who deplore Trump’s policies have pushed Biden to embrace wholesale changes to a U.S. enforcement model designed to deter illegal migration through a system of detention and deportation.
Rice told EFE the new administration would offer a “transformative vision for addressing migration in our region” and would work to build “a fair, humane, and orderly immigration…
Go to the news source: Biden says he’ll reverse Trump immigration policies, but wants ‘guard rails’ fir…