Last week, the federal COVID-19 public health declaration officially ended. With that, a pandemic-era immigration order called Title 42 also expired. Title 42 allowed the Trump and Biden administrations to close the U.S. borders to migrants due to the pandemic.
Now that Title 42 will no longer be in place, the Biden administration has come up with a new asylum policy.
Immigration expert Stephen Yale-Loehr says it's an attempt to control the surge in migration at the border.
"If you do enter the United States illegally, you will be presumed ineligible for asylum with certain limited exceptions," Yale-Loehr said. "They want people instead to use this new CBP One app to schedule asylum interviews and then have the interviews at the ports of entry. So, they're hoping that by the combination of parole, the refugee processing centers, and the CBP One app, people will do things legally. And this new rule then penalizes those who try to enter the United States illegally."
Yale-Loehr says he could see this rule working in the long run, but for now, he says the CBP One Mobile App can only accept up to 1,000 appointments per day, and he thinks it will take time for new refugee processing centers to be put up.
However, he and others expect the rule will be challenged in court. He says the Trump administration had a similar rule that was struck down by a federal court because the U.S. asylum statute says anyone who's on U.S. soil can apply for asylum.
There may not be a simple answer to immigration policy, but Yale-Loehr says he believes Congress needs to enact immigration reform.
"We need to have an approach that realizes that we can only manage the border," Yale-Loehr said. "We can't ever stop all illegal immigration, but we also need to have Congress enact more work visas so the people who do want to come to the United States temporarily can do so legally and won't be tempted to enter illegally."