New York Post, April 18, 2023
The real, true, and final end of pandemic-era measure “Title 42”, which allowed for the quick expulsion of all illegal immigrants crossing the southern border, is nigh.
Set to end May 11, the title was a potent deterrent when former President Donald Trump applied it to almost 90% of all illegal crossing immigrants and far less so under the President, who expelled only 35%.
I predict big trouble is on the way to the southern border, from which I’ve just returned.
In Juarez, thousands of immigrants are living in abandoned buildings, sleeping on the streets, and many hundreds more a day show up on freight trains.
A human tidal wave is building all over Mexico and farther south.
Biden administration officials claim they have a plan. Don’t believe them.
When Title 42 was in place, Trump and Biden, the latter to a far lesser degree, could quickly expel border jumpers back into Mexico or beyond and — critically — deny them access to the US asylum system. Cutting off access to this system was a serious deterrent; immigrants stayed home when Trump held Title 42 but came in historic droves when Biden opened a wide aperture of exemptions from it.
The new Biden plan’s replacement will prove entirely useless.
This is the same one always provided by the Immigration and Naturalization Act, known as “Title 8 expedited removal.”
Biden’s top people talk really tough about how they are going to use Title 8.
The first telltale clue this is pure hokum: In all their public pronouncements and regulations, administration officials vow every immigrant who crosses that border will be “subject” to Title 8’s expedited-removal provision.
Of course, anyone getting the “subjected to” treatment is a universe from being expeditiously removed.
Unlike Title 42, however, Title 8 has a host of sure-fire dodges that all but guarantee escape from expedited removal and admission into America.
The first of these is that any immigrant who merely declares an intent to claim asylum on grounds they were persecuted at home pushes off Title 8 removal proceedings and gets into a separate end-run asylum-claim line.
Bolstered teams of US Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers will be on deck to quickly screen claims by Zoom meeting while the immigrants are supposedly held in detention.
Tough talk for domestic political consumption has it that Biden’s government will presume that no immigrant is eligible for asylum and quickly deport them.
No one should buy this hogwash.
First, this “presumed ineligibility” is not going to apply to minors who jump the border without parents or guardians, the new policy explicitly specifies.
Therefore, expect the unmitigated flood of unaccompanied minors that began when Biden exempted this group from Title 42 expulsions on Day One — a historic 350,000 to 400,000 since the inauguration — to ramp up even more.
Next, the administration’s proposed regulation makes instant dismissal of an asylum claim very difficult.
All any migrant must do is claim they face “an extreme and imminent threat to their life or safety, such as the imminent threat of rape, kidnapping, torture or murder,” the regulation discloses.
That’ll get most of them released into America to add their asylum cases to the nearly five-year backlog of them so they can disappear years from now when they lose — or just disappear now after their release at the border.
Whichever is beside the point. They’re in.
And if an asylum officer turns them down even after they say they fear imminent harm if returned to Mexico? No problemo.
They can appeal til the cows come home in front of immigration judges and courts of appeal, and, since all that legal work always takes a long time, they’ll get released into America, too. After all, the administration has assured human-rights lawyers will be present at all these screenings.
Foreign-national families will pile into the American interior under a different dodge around Title 8 expedited removal.
A 2015 amended court settlement called “the Flores settlement” requires that the US government release young children and their parents from detention within 21 days while they all rebut and appeal their asylum-screening declines.
President Trump came close to abolishing the global enticement that is the Flores settlement, but Biden kept it.
Flores’ rules are already so well known throughout the world — and so wildly cherished — America should expect literally millions of new immigrants who enter as families to start pouring into its cities after May 11, right alongside the enhanced crush of solo-traveling minors and single adults who will learn from their lawyer advocates what to say.
This new plan envisions deporting only the immigrants who do not follow a script they have been carefully taught by human smugglers and immigration advocates.
They will take happy selfies in hotels paid for by New York City taxpayers for the folks back home, who will constitute the next group waved across the border.
Biden could stop this. He won’t.