ACLU Reveals Biden Admin Allowed 2K Migrants Into US, Will Let 250 More Daily
By Cathy Burke | Tuesday, 18 May 2021 01:18 PM
The Biden administration has let 2,000 migrants into the country while they wait for their immigration hearings — a break with current policy blocking most families and single adults from crossing the Mexico-U.S. border.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the “particularly vulnerable” included those who are ill, families with very young children or immigrants who’ve been threatened or attacked while they wait in Mexico — and were identified to Customs and Border Protection by international humanitarian organizations, NBC News reported.
The Biden administration has also agreed to let 250 people a day cross the Mexico border to seek refuge in the United States, part of negotiations to settle a lawsuit over pandemic-related powers that deny migrants a right to apply for asylum, ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt told the Associated Press.
Those will be in addition to all unaccompanied children and some families already allowed to enter the country; others have been blocked under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authority known as Title 42 intended to stop the spread of COVID-19, NBC News noted.
The admittance of vulnerable migrants is the result of negotiations in an ongoing lawsuit brought by the ACLU to challenge the use of Title 42.
“While these concessions will hopefully save lives, they are not a substitute for eliminating Title 42 and restoring asylum processing fully,” Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, told the AP.
Another concession by the Biden administration as part of the lawsuit, according to the ACLU, was an agreement to temporarily suspend the practice of flying immigrants who cross the border in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas to El Paso, Texas, or San Ysidro, California, to expel them there.
The flights allowed CBP to process immigrants away from the the busiest border sector for migrant traffic. While they are now suspended, the ACLU said the government could restart lateral flights at any time, the AP reported.
President Joe Biden has come under criticism from progressives for keeping asylum off-limits to many and for encouraging some parents to send children across the border alone. But critics say exempting children traveling alone led to record numbers crossing and that lifting restrictions more will invite many more people to come.
The Border Patrol’s more than 173,000 encounters with migrants on the Mexican border in April were the highest level since April 2000, the AP reported. Authorities encountered 17,171 children traveling alone in April, down from an all-time high of 18,960 in March.
There were about 50,000 people encountered in families in April. About one of every three in families was expelled to Mexico, according to the AP, which reported the rest were allowed to remain in the United States to seek asylum.