Monday, June 21, 2021

Biden Changes Immigration Rules to Open More Pathways for Migrants; Biden Administration Reverses Trump-Era Policies Narrowing Asylum Terms

Biden changes immigration rules to open more pathways for migrants:
The Biden administration this week changed immigration policies to allow children from Central American countries to fly to the US on the taxpayers’ dime, and will allow migrants to seek asylum if they claim they are the victims of violence or crime — actions that come amid the backdrop of a record-smashing surge of migrants arriving at the border.
The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department on Tuesday announced that they have expanded the Obama-era Central American Minors program that ​allows children under 21 from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador with pending asylum claims to fly to the US to be reunited with a family member.
It also adds to the number of “qualifying individuals” — parents and legal guardians — who can petition for their children to be brought to the US while their claims are being processed, including those with pending asylum claims or those who have temporary protected status.
The program, which the Trump administration ended in 2017, would open another pathway and substantially increase the number of child migrants coming to the US.
“These new changes will dramatically expand access to the CAM program,” a statement signed by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “We are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, as well as providing a legal alternative to irregular migration. We are delivering on our promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.” --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Win McNamee/Associated Press
WSJ: Biden Administration Reverses Trump-Era Policies Narrowing Asylum Terms:
Attorney general vacates decisions in two cases involving domestic and gang violence for applicants
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday overturned two cases decided by the Trump administration Justice Department that made immigrants fleeing domestic or gang violence in their home countries generally ineligible for asylum in the U.S.
In the first case, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had ruled in 2018 that domestic and gang violence are forms of private criminal activity generally not covered by asylum laws. In the second case, then-Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019 had stated that membership in a family—such as one being targeted by a gang or drug cartel—also generally couldn’t qualify someone for a grant of asylum.
Messrs. Sessions and Barr had overturned decisions made by the Board of Immigration Appeals, an internal Justice Department body that acts as an appeals court for the immigration-court system. Unlike most other courts, immigration courts are run by the Justice Department and their rulings can be overturned by political officials.
The Trump administration repeatedly said it believed migrants were taking advantage of expansive U.S. asylum laws, and officials took many steps to narrow eligibility to deter more migrants from coming. The Biden administration has been undoing those changes, and administration officials have said they are working on new rules through a federal regulation to more specifically define who can qualify for asylum. --->READ MORE HERE

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