The Joe Biden administration is seriously considering a proposal that would bar migrants from seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border if they were able to receive refuge in another country they passed through, a move that reflects Trump-era restrictions on asylum.
Officials are now bracing for a surge in the number of migrants trying to cross the US border once the controversial public health authority, known as Title 42, comes to an end in three weeks. In that sense, they weigh multiple plans to stop the flow.
The recent proposal, first reported on by The New York Times, was included in a memo sent to the White House by the Department of Homeland Security, one of the sources said. The proposal has not received final approval and would still have to go through the rule-making process before taking effect, the source explained.
But if adopted, it would be reminiscent of a policy implemented under the Trump administration that severely limited the ability of migrants to claim asylum in the United States if they resided in or traveled through other countries before reaching the border. At the time, the policy received wide criticism from immigrant advocates.
“The government is committed to continuing to secure our borders while maintaining safe, orderly, and humane immigration processing. This will continue to be the case when Title 42 is suspended. Media reports indicate that US policy will change are inaccurate; no such decision has been made,” said Marsha Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.