Another Biden Immigration Plan That Looks a Lot Like Trump’s

President Joe Biden speaks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers as he visits the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on January 8, 2023. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration on Thursday moved closer to adopting another Trump-era policy to deter asylum cases at the U.S.-Mexico border, despite President Joe Biden criticizing former President Donald Trump about the same issue while on the campaign trail in 2020.

Critics say Biden’s proposal shares the same flaws that led to Trump’s iteration being overturned by federal courts.

Biden’s rule, published in the federal register Thursday, would presume individuals arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are ineligible for asylum if they traveled through another country without seeking protection there first. It makes limited exceptions for children and for medical emergencies, life-threatening circumstances, or for “severe” forms of trafficking. The changes also include expedited screening and removal processes (which in some cases could be wrapped up less than 72 hours after they begin).

It’s unclear whether Mexico will agree to accept detainees turned away by U.S. officials or if the removal proceedings will instead involve costly flights back to deportees’ home countries. The proposal—which the Biden administration says it plans to use only for two years—must go through a 30-day notice and comment period before implementation.

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