McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The Department of Homeland Security on Friday maintained that its Title 8 asylum policies, which resumed after Title 42 ended, have real consequences for migrants who try to illegally cross the U.S. border, and said the agency will continue to implement the rules recently backed by an appeals court.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday allowed the Title 8 restrictions, formally called the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule, to remain in place, for now. The California-based court temporarily blocked a previous court ruling that called for the Biden administration’s asylum policies to be lifted this month. The three-judge panel also expedited the case as it makes its way through the appeals process.
“In light of the order, the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule will remain in place pending appeal. To be clear, we will continue to apply the rule and immigration consequences for those who do not have a lawful basis to remain in the United States. The rule has significantly reduced irregular migration, and since its implementation on May 12th we have removed more than 85,000 individuals. We encourage migrants to ignore the lies of smugglers and use lawful, safe, and orderly pathways,” a DHS spokesperson told Border Report on Friday.
But many disagree with the policy. Migrant advocates say it is inhumane and too harsh as asylum-seekers wait for months south of the border to get an asylum appointment on the DHS-required CBP One app.
Over 200 organizations on Wednesday sent a letter to the White House asking the Biden administration to strike down their asylum policies, which they call an “unlawful ban” on asylum. “Immediately end this policy. Every day the asylum ban remains intact, it inflicts immeasurable harm on people in urgent need of protection,” they wrote.
Others say there are too many loopholes and exceptions in the asylum policy. This includes allowing unaccompanied children to cross the border, and for thousands from certain Latin American and Caribbean countries to be paroled into the United States legally by DHS every month.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., on Friday told Border Report that his organization wants to see the Biden administration restart the “Remain in Mexico” policy that was in effect under the Trump administration, which required most asylum-seekers to wait south of the border until their U.S. immigration cases are adjudicated.
If not, he says all migrants who cross into the United States should be detained while their cases are pending.
Krikorian said the administration’s regulation requiring migrants to apply for asylum in another country that they come to after leaving their homeland and before reaching the United States, is a start, but should be strictly enforced deter illegal immigration.
“The important part of the ruling is that it allows the Biden administration rule that tries to limit asylum eligibility for people who have gone through other countries and not applied there, it allows that to stay in place,” Krikorian said. “There’s no excuse for anyone, any third-country national, who has passed through Mexico — let alone all the other countries they pass through — to even be permitted to apply for asylum in the United States, because the very fact of their presence at the Rio Grande, or at other places on the border, is itself evidence that they’re not real asylum-seekers, because if they were, they would have already sought it somewhere else.”
“What the Biden administration needs to do is detain as many people as they can; do the asylum process as soon as possible right at the border, which is something they said they’re doing, but it’s not really working out. And tighten up the standards for giving asylum. Under this administration, they have pushed the envelope in the law in defining who gets asylum very broadly. And finally, they need to lean on Mexico, and reintroduce Remain in Mexico,” he said.
But migrant advocates, like Felicia Rangel-Samponaro, co-founder of the nonprofit Sidewalk School for Children Asylum Seekers, a South-Texas based nonprofit that helps children and families in Reynosa and Matamoros, Mexico, says life is tough for migrants south of the border. She says they often wait in homeless conditions in violent Mexican border towns without steady meals, income or any sense of when they’ll get one of the 1,450 CBP One app appointments that are available daily.
Under the policy, migrants who cross illegally into the United States and are sent back must wait five years before trying to come to the United States. If they are caught before then, they face a 20-year ban.
Rangel-Samponaro told Border Report on Friday she was shocked the appeals court is allowing the Title 8 policy to continue.
“I was surprised. I thought for sure it would be stopped. It’s disappointing because the asylum-seekers are aware of the ban and it keeps them stuck in Mexico and extremely dangerous conditions because of it,” she said.
The ACLU, which filed a lawsuit against Title 8 asylum restrictions, tweeted Friday that the appeals court didn’t rule on the legality of the asylum policy, but ruled to speed it quickly through the courts.
“Fast-tracking the appeal is crucial — every day the Biden administration tries to preserve the ban, people seeking safety are put in danger,” they tweeted on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter.