Biden administration: US considers detention of migrant families

Status: 08.03.2023 02:37 am

A controversial US asylum restriction from the early phase of the pandemic is soon to be abolished. In anticipation of increased crowds at the border, the White House is considering briefly detaining migrant families.

The White House is considering short-term detention of illegally arrived migrant families. The background to this is the abolition of an asylum restriction from the early phase of the corona pandemic, which is planned for May, which is likely to be accompanied by an increased rush to the southern border of the USA, according to government circles.

The Ministry of Homeland Security is currently examining how to deal with the expected increase in the number of migrants. The imprisonment of families who have entered the country illegally is just one of several ideas, and the authorities emphasized that nothing has been decided yet.

If the proposal is actually implemented, it would be a remarkable reversal: It was only at the end of 2021 that the US government stopped the practice of holding migrant families in detention camps. If this policy were to be restored, those affected would be detained for a short time, possibly a few days. Their cases would also be processed by the competent courts in expedited proceedings.

Government spokeswoman does not want to comment on reports

Government spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said she would not comment on “rumours” that such a practice was under discussion. “I’m not going to say it is; I’m not going to say it isn’t,” she explained. Jean-Pierre also declined to answer when asked if President Joe Biden believed incarcerating families was humane.

Currently, undocumented families apprehended at the border are allowed into the United States with a request to appear before an immigration court at a later date.

At the height of the pandemic, few migrant families were being held in camps. The police and border protection agency ICE now uses these facilities to detain adults who have entered the country illegally.

The USA recently tightened migration policy again

In view of a record number of asylum seekers, the government has recently tightened its migration policy. Citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela would be sent back to Mexico if they came to America illegally, the White House said in January – and at the same time announced that up to 30,000 migrants from these four countries could be taken in by the United States every month , provided they applied for asylum in advance and did not simply show up at the border. As a result, the number of illegal border crossings fell noticeably.

In anticipation of the abolition of the controversial Title 42 regulation, which has provided for the rapid rejection of migrants with reference to protection against Corona since spring 2020, the government announced a further tightening at the end of February: In general, entry should be denied to those who are on their way to the southern border did not first apply for asylum in a transit country. However, there should be exceptions for those with acute medical emergencies, for victims of extreme violent crimes and for children traveling alone.

Activists outraged by detention plans

The fact that the government is now apparently considering briefly detaining families is causing displeasure among activists. Many were surprised. The Biden administration is trying to strike a balance between protecting the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence and wanting improved and orderly asylum procedures, said Sergio Gonzalez, executive director of the group Immigration Hub. “Detention of families has no place in this quest. We urge the government to reject this harmful, regressive practice.”

Government spokeswoman Jean-Pierre opposed criticism that Biden was reviving some aspects of his predecessor Donald Trump’s asylum policy. Under Trump, the United States had massively restricted the admission of those seeking protection and forcibly separated children from their parents at the border, which was condemned worldwide as inhumane.

Many people compared Biden to Trump and said the president was expanding his predecessor’s actions or was behaving “very Trump-like,” Jean-Pierre said, emphasizing: “That’s not what’s happening here.”

source site