US to Take Steps to Expedite Illegal Border Crossing Cases

An effort to speed up the asylum decision-making process for specific individuals who enter the US illegally over the Mexican border has been unveiled by the Biden administration.

The program is being offered as a cooperative effort by the Justice and Homeland Security departments and is open to adult migrants who federal border officers have released after illegally entering the United States. Its goal is to expedite the granting of asylum to those who have strong claims and the rejection of those with weaker ones.

New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles are the five largest U.S. cities where people seeking to migrate alone may be chosen for the new procedure that would direct immigration courts to make judgments in 180 days rather than years. Due to U.S. authorities’ refusal to offer an estimate of the number of migrants who would be put in the fast-track processes, the breadth of Thursday’s statement remained unclear. During a call with the media, one of the authorities said that the program had been allocated ten judges.

For economic migrants, who do not meet the criteria for humanitarian protection but often use the asylum system to work in the United States, the present years-long timeline for deciding asylum claims works as a “pull factor” that promotes migration. The immigration courts’ case backlog has grown substantially over the last several years, resulting in wait periods that often exceed four years. There are roughly 3.5 million pending immigration cases that less than 800 judges are responsible for supervising.

Unauthorized border crossings reached record highs last year, prompting the Biden administration to take action, the most recent of which is the rocket docket. According to the agency, the Biden administration has released a rule proposal that would expedite the rejection and deportation of asylum-seekers who represent a threat to national security or public safety. An executive order from last year makes it so that illegal immigrants who do not first seek protection in another nation are automatically disqualified from receiving asylum in the United States.

Biden has been contemplating a more comprehensive proposal to further limit asylum for those entering the United States illegally and has been more committed to stricter border regulations. The action, which would use the presidential power known as 212(f), would likely encounter opposition from the legal community.