The Biden administration has brought back a Trump-era immigration rule the day before Title 42 is scheduled to sunset and encourage a wave of illegal immigration into the U.S.
The rule, finalized and published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, disqualifies migrants from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they neglected to first apply for asylum in other countries they traveled through, such as Mexico. Hundreds of asylum officers were trained in how to enforce the rule on Tuesday ahead of Title 42’s expiration, according to CBS News.
The new rule, a reversal of President Joe Biden’s campaign promises, comes as the administration has failed for more than two years to control historic levels of illegal immigration into the U.S. The ongoing crisis at the southern border is widely expected to worsen later this week when Title 42, a health order authorizing border officials to immediately expel migrants without processing, is repealed at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday.
When former President Donald Trump implemented the rule to contain illegal immigration, Biden was one of his most vocal critics. Biden used Trump’s immigration policies as a club during the 2020 presidential campaign.
“This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country,” Biden said during the final debate of the campaign. “That’s never happened before in America.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has scrambled to prepare for the surge, which has already begun to materialize days before Title 42 expires. DHS requested and received 1,500 military personnel from the Pentagon to help perform administrative tasks on the border and free up more border agents for enforcement.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection partnered with local and state law enforcement to begin sweeping thousands of illegal migrants off the streets of El Paso, Texas, one of the hotspots for illegal migration. El Paso Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser preemptively declared a state of emergency in the city. He has previously estimated that 15,000 migrants could be in position to flood into the city from Ciudad Juarez when Title 42 is ended.
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Immigration officials have seen a steady surge in illegal migration in the weeks leading up to Title 42’s end. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz reported on Monday that Border Patrol averaged nearly 9,000 migrant apprehensions per day and tallied over 7,000 gotaways, illegal immigrants who were seen entering the U.S. but could not be apprehended. On Tuesday, more than 11,000 migrants were reportedly caught crossing the southern border.