In response to what is being referred to as “congressional inaction on immigration” the Biden administration has issued an executive order aimed at controlling the flow of illegal migrants, claiming asylum without prior authorization, into the United States.
The order becomes active when the number of illegal migrants crossing the southern borders, land and coastal, reaches an average of 2,500 per day over seven days making it effective immediately. At that point, border officers will deny asylum seekers entry if they are attempting to enter between ports of entry. The order temporarily deactivates when the number drops to an average 1,500 attempted entries over 14 days. The last time the attempted entry number dropped that low was in July of 2020 during the pandemic. Migrants who are expelled under the order will receive a minimum five-year bar on reentry to the United States and could face criminal prosecution.
There will be some exceptions such as unaccompanied minors, and those who can demonstrate a credible fear of returning to border officials.
There are questions surrounding the administration’s fiscal ability to staff the program as well as how to repatriate citizens from all over the world back to their home countries. The order will likely be challenged in court. The Trump administration attempted to push through a similar order in 2018 but was blocked in court under asylum laws which essentially allow people to request humanitarian protection regardless of their entry status. The ACLU has already announced plans to challenge the order.