Biden Reportedly Considering Unilateral Action on Border

Biden Reportedly Considering Unilateral Action on Border

( – For months, the Senate worked on a bipartisan piece of legislation, which included immigration reform and funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Pacific Rim. Although hopes to pass a cooperative measure in Congress to send to the White House in short order, the bill died in the Senate at the alleged behest of former President Donald Trump (R). Now, President Joe Biden (D) is considering other ways to address border issues.

On February 21, NBC News reported that the Biden administration was thinking about changing the initial screening process for migrants, making it harder to pass the test for asylum. The screenings are referred to as “credible fear interviews,” which take place to determine whether or not the individual has a valid reason for crossing the border and seeking asylum. According to the report, the new system would instruct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use a “last in, first out” policy when dealing with asylum-seekers.

It’s unclear if the policy change would come through executive order directly from the president or require new federal regulations. Either way, a congressional aide said the changes would have a quick impact. Still, Biden alone is limited on what he can do to quell the issues at the border with funding running low for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) absent viable legislation.

Multiple ICE officials reportedly told The Washington Post DHS expects a $700 million deficit, putting “current removal operations” in danger. Department spokesperson Erin Heeter said DHS was “chronically underfunded.” A remedy for that can only come from congressional legislation. Homeland Security called on Congress to act so that the department would have the “funding and tools” needed at the front line.

It’s unclear how much good the Biden administration’s possible policy change would do. One DHS official reportedly expressed doubts about the idea, stating the “last in, first out” policy would push migrants who have been waiting for answers to the “back of the line.”

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