USA has been witnessing a record number of asylum seekers in the past few months which has pushed them to take steps to manage the crisis.
Until now, citizens of different countries seeking refuge at USA could just arrive at the borders and request for asylum.
But the new plan proposes that they first book an appointment through an app with a U.S. official about the issue. Also, they would need to display proof that they have requested for asylum in other countries through which they have travelled. If they reach the border without these prerequisites, the new proposal allows them to be deported back to their country.
Comparison to Trump’s Administration –
Biden who promised better laws on migration at the borders during his election campaign, seems to be taking an approach similar to his forerunner.
Trump attempted to pass a law similar to this during his administration but did not go through with it as it was not approved. Right now, Title 42, a health emergency provision made during his days is ongoing. According to this public health rule most asylum claimants can be forced to be turned away at the border without being given the chance to argue their claims. It is set to expire on May 11th, 2023.
Yet, Biden’s proposal is slightly better than Trump’s as it allows an exemption for asylum seekers who are facing a grave threat such as kidnapping, rape, murder or is a sufferer of human trafficking. Also, lone children without any family and people facing medical emergencies will also be exempted.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, defended this move by stating that they are a nation of immigrants, and nation of laws. They 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.
The plan announced by Biden, a Democrat, will have to sustain a month-long public comment period before it is implemented. If approved, it will be followed from May 11th when Title 42 is set to run out.
Venezuela and Columbia among top Asylees
Recent statistics has shown a predominant rise in the number of Asylee applications from Venezuela and Columbia. This is primarily because of the decade long economic crisis and security conflicts that do not seem to have a solution in sight.
Other countries with notable numbers are Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, India and Russia. While better economic opportunities and security have been the motive for seeking asylum for most of these countries, the recent war in Russia has also caused many to move out of their home country. Surprisingly, despite their strained relations, the acceptance rate of Chinese Asylees has been on the higher side, as compared to the other major countries like Cuba and Guatemala.