Proposed border security changes could change the way applicants La Prensa de Minnesota La Prensa de Minnesota

Proposed border security changes could change the way asylum seekers apply for legal entry into the United States

Advocates say the Biden administration’s proposals could complicate the process for most asylum seekers turning up at the US border. A new program would allow entry for Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians seeking temporary protection.

From HIBAH ANSARI-Sahan Journal

President Joe Biden has announced new immigration policies that could change the way immigrants seek asylum in the United States.

The government announced Jan. 5 that it would limit the use of Title 42, a public health regulation that controls border migration due to COVID-19. By continuing to use border security in place of this provision, the government instead intends to introduce new rules for legal entry into the United States.

The announcement included a new humanitarian parole program for Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians seeking temporary protection in the United States. However, you would have to apply for protection before entering the country. Lawyers like Lindsey Greising, an attorney with Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis, said the government’s new rules, if implemented, could pose a barrier to some immigrants currently seeking asylum in Minnesota.

“While we are very excited about additional legal avenues that can be made available to people to safely migrate, it is important that people know that seeking asylum is a legal avenue,” Greising said. “People who show up at the border continue to follow a legal migration route. It’s just not what the Biden administration wants them to follow.”

A rule opposed to former President Donald Trump’s transit ban, Greising said, would make it harder for migrants to obtain asylum status unless they first seek legal protection in countries they pass through en route to the United States, for example. , apply for asylum in Mexico. The driving ban was lifted in court in February 2021.

According to the current status, the Biden administration’s plan will make it more difficult for the majority of asylum seekers who show up at the border to enter the United States, said Greising. Instead, they would have to seek asylum in the country or countries they pass through first, he added.

Greising said the administration has not yet released the official rules. After publication, the administration must receive public comments for at least 30 days. I would then review the feedback before posting a final rule.

“If this rule were extended to every person who is seeking asylum and has transited through a third country en route to the United States. [Por ejemplo] They come from El Salvador, have traveled through Guatemala and Mexico and have not applied for asylum there,” Greising said. “Your asylum application would be barred under these proposed rules and you may face deportation.”

The Biden administration has added the ability for Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian citizens outside the US to apply for a redesigned humanitarian parole program for Venezuelans. Humanitarian probation provides temporary entry and protection for immigrants fleeing violence, conflict or other emergencies in their country of origin. Beneficiaries can obtain work permits and are temporarily protected from deportation, but this is generally not a formal route to legal permanent status.

Veena Iyer, executive director of the Minnesota Immigrant Law Center, said this opportunity is only available to a small group of people.

“These people have to have a passport from their own country, get a US sponsor, and be able to get to the United States by air,” Iyer said. “We’re talking about people with wealth, people with contacts.”

Even within that window, Greising added that political asylum seekers from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela could find it difficult to safely leave their country of origin if they don’t have a passport or are afraid to use it.

Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians currently residing in Minnesota would not benefit from the humanitarian parole program, Greising said.

Iyer added that Minnesotans from those countries with pending asylum cases will continue to be processed. But the asylum system is currently suffering from a notorious backlog of 1.6 million applications pending in US immigration courts and US citizenship and immigration services.

State persecution, violence by paramilitary groups, identity-based attacks on women and LGBTQ+ people, and weather-related disasters are some of the reasons people from Central and South American countries are seeking asylum in the United States.

Those appeals are consistent among Minnesota asylum seekers, according to Iyer. And whatever policies the Biden administration develops, their struggles will continue.