Some families will now be subject to the expedited deportation process known as “expedited refoulement”, which allows immigration authorities to remove an individual without a hearing before an immigration judge. The procedure will apply to families who are not promptly evicted under a border policy linked to the pandemic.
This is the latest indication of the Biden administration’s mistrust of migrants, including those seeking asylum, coming to the southern border of the United States. Asked about Vice President Kamala Harris’ “don’t come” message to migrants, President Joe Biden reiterated that “they shouldn’t come” at a CNN town hall last week, adding that the administration tried to tackle the root causes of migration.
“Attempting to enter the United States between ports of entry, or bypass inspection at ports of entry, is the wrong way to come to the United States,” DHS said in a statement Monday.
“These acts are dangerous and can have long-term immigration consequences for those who attempt to do so. The Biden-Harris administration is working to build a safe, orderly and humane immigration system, and the Department of Homeland Security continues to take several steps to improve legal treatment at points of entry and reforms to strengthen the asylum system, ”the department added.
In recent months, arrests of migrant families have increased. In June, the border patrol apprehended more than 50,000 migrant families, up from 40,815 in May, according to the latest data available from US customs and border protection.
While tens of thousands of families have been turned away following a Trump-era public health order linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of families subject to the policy has declined since March, according to data from the CBP. But the administration has struggled to accommodate these families, relying on organizations along the border and hotels for treatment.
The Biden administration also said in May that it plans to speed up court proceedings for families of recently arrived migrants seeking asylum.
Immigrants struggling against deportation usually have the opportunity to plead their case in court, where they can ask judges to allow them to stay in the United States on the grounds that they are entitled to asylum or to d ‘other legal options. Cases can often take months or even years due to the backlog in immigration courts, prompting a process to be put in place to deal with cases expeditiously.
The Obama and Trump administrations have tried to hear cases quickly, addressing criticism from immigrant advocates and lawyers, who argued the process risks rushing asylum claims and undermining due process. A homeland security official previously told CNN that the main difference now is that families will have quick and sufficient access to legal representation and that judges will not be under strict time constraints.