‘On Second Thought, I Guess Trump Was Right and I Was Wrong’ on Metering
The first in a series noting instances in which the Biden administration has adopted Trump administration policies and practices that President Biden previously pilloried
Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s “Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants” proclaimed that:
Trump’s disastrous policy of “metering” — limiting the number of asylum applications accepted each day [at ports-of-entry (POEs)] — forces people seeking asylum to wait on the streets in often dangerous Mexican border towns for weeks before they are permitted to apply. It has created a horrifying ecosystem of violence and exploitation, with cartels kidnapping, violently assaulting, and extorting migrants. Biden will direct the necessary resources to ensure asylum applications are processed fairly and efficiently, while treating families and children with compassion and sensitivity.
Why did DHS adopt this practice during the Trump administration? As John Wagner, the deputy executive assistant commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, explained to the House Appropriations Committee in 2017:
[O]ur [POEs] were at capacity to be able to take more people in. … And the building was full, and we could not humanely and safely and securely hold any more people in our space. … The [POEs] just do not have the kind of space to hold large volumes of people during the processing and then holding them until they are picked up. So we worked a process out with the Mexican authorities to be able to limit how many people a day could come across the border into our facility to be able to be processed. But it was not a question of us not wanting to do it. It was a question of us not having the space to be able to do it safely and humanely and providing space in Mexico for them to wait until the space freed up on our side to be able to move people into it.
March 3, 2023
‘On Second Thought, I Guess Trump Was Right and I Was Wrong’ About Rampant Abuse of the Asylum System
The second in a series noting instances in which the Biden administration has adopted Trump administration policies and practices that President Biden previously pilloried
In presidential candidate Joe Biden’s imagining, America’s asylum system was not being abused; rather, it was saving the world and fulfilling America’s destiny … before President Trump ruined it all. Biden proclaimed in August 2020 that:
We’re going to restore our moral standing in the world and our historic role as a safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers. … My lord, we have never — we have never [until Trump] made asylum seekers stay — seek asylum outside the United States of America.
In the “Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants”, the Biden-Harris campaign wrote that:
- The Statue of Liberty has long been a beacon to people “yearning to breathe free” around the world — including asylum-seekers and refugees. But the Trump Administration has worked against this tradition to drastically restrict access to asylum in the U.S. … Biden will end these policies, starting with Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols [MPP], and restore our asylum laws so that they do what they should be designed to do — protect people fleeing persecution and who cannot return home safely.
- Through his [MPP] policies, Trump has effectively closed our country to asylum seekers, forcing them instead to choose between waiting in dangerous situations … or taking a risk to try crossing between the ports of entry.
Besides disastrously terminating the MPP, what else would Biden do as president?
- [P]roven alternatives to detention and non-profit case management programs, which support migrants as they navigate their legal obligations, are the best way to ensure that they attend all required immigration appointments [what, to see the immigration doctor?]. These programs also enable migrants to live in dignity and safety while awaiting their court hearings — facilitating things like doctor visits [I guess so!], social services, and school enrollment for children.
- Migrants who qualify for an asylum claim will be admitted to the country through an orderly process and connected with resources that will help them care for themselves.
- Biden will dramatically increase U.S. government resources to support migrants awaiting assessment of their asylum claims and to the organizations providing for their needs.