Detention of Illegal Alien Families Being Considered When Title 42 Ends in May

AP Photo/Christian Chavez

Faced with the prospect of a tidal wave of illegal aliens trying to cross the border when the pandemic emergency is lifted on May 11, the Biden administration has been casting about desperately, looking for a way to deter the illegal surge.


Up to 18,000 illegal aliens are expected to try and cross the border every day once Title 42 immigration restrictions are lifted. Title 42 is a pandemic health measure allowing the government to expel illegal aliens immediately.

But the administration has decided to change many policies back to what they were during the Trump administration, including the policy that allows the government to detain illegal alien families. There are also going to be significant changes in how asylum is granted, resurrecting Trump-era policy on third-country transit for asylum seekers.

The family detention in the Biden administration will differ from Trump’s policy in the length of time that families are held.

Wall Street Journal:

If the administration moves forward with detaining families, they would be held for a limited number of days for processing only, one of the people said, and would comply with a decades-old court settlement governing the detention of immigrant children that has generally barred the government from detaining families for longer than about 20 days.

Asylum cases typically take far longer to decide. Cases of asylum seekers not being held in jail are pending in federal immigration court for an average of about 4.2 years, according to the Transactional Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

If enacted, asylum seekers would no longer automatically be admitted to the U.S. The new rule would deny asylum to anyone who crosses the southern border without authorization after traveling through a third country on their way to the U.S. Trump was heavily criticized for enacting this policy, but the third-country transit is consistent with American and International law. Since about 60% of arrests at the southern border are those seeking asylum, it should cut the number of illegals trying to cross the border almost in half.


Related: The Fight to Keep Title 42 Immigration Restrictions in Place Is Over

The Biden administration squirms uncomfortably at any comparisons to the Trump administration, and well they should. Biden skewered Trump during the 2020 campaign for many of the same policies he has been forced by circumstances to adopt.

Biden officials have pushed back on comparisons to the Trump administration and said the new asylum rule was an emergency and temporary measure. They have also pointed to an expansion in legal programs for some migrants announced this year in conjunction with the restrictions.

The Obama administration opened family detention centers after the first significant wave of Central American families and unaccompanied children in 2014 and faced criticism for the conditions in those facilities. At that time officials scrambled to find space, converting the Border Patrol’s training headquarters in New Mexico as a temporary jail.

And the border chaos in 2018-19 wasn’t an “emergency”? Biden just can’t admit to Trump being even half right about anything.

The same actors who got hysterical over Trump’s border policies will now lose it over Biden’s measures. The ACLU, the America Friends Services Committee — Open Borders, Inc. as Michelle Malkin wrote of the massive open borders coalition in 2019 — will begin to churn out press releases, articles, books, and other mass media efforts to persuade Americans who selfish they are for wanting secure borders.


Center for Immigration Studies:

The scope of this open-borders coalition is massive. And while it contains some who are unwitting participants, those driving the agenda are members of a diverse elite who know exactly what they are doing. And they are doing it, as Malkin says, with “unfettered contempt for actual popular sentiment.” This includes much of the Hollywood elite, who, as Malkin details, seek to abolish the border while living behind “walls within walls within walls” in an “impenetrable bubble of protection”, much like the officials in the Vatican.

What is confounding about all of this is how indifferent the coalition seems to the harm caused by open borders. As Malkin succinctly puts it, those undermining our immigration laws are “enabling human trafficking, violent crime, and exploitation of cheap, illegal alien labor.” She includes stories of illegal-alien criminals, refugee terrorists, and overwhelmed communities unable to stop the constant flow of resettlement. There is a high social and fiscal cost to unregulated immigration that somehow never fits into the calculus of those advocating more of it. While they presume to have the moral high ground, an unprecedented level of immigration is detrimental to everyone. Malkin includes a heterodox quote from Father Andrew McNair, chaplain for the Office of Black Catholic Ministry of the Diocese of Providence, “The right to immigrate is not absolute … the common good of any nation consists of three principles: respect for the person, social well-being and development, and peace … lax immigration policy walks over these principles … enforcing the law and asking people to obey the law isn’t mean or heartless, but charity in its truest sense.”


Facilitating the illegal crossing of the border is a misdemeanor that the U.S. government doesn’t even bother to enforce. At some point, we may have to.


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