President Biden signs executive order banning migrants who cross southern border illegally

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol vehicle drives along the U.S.-Mexico border. El Paso^ Texas / USA - March 7^ 2020

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed a new executive order on immigration that bars asylum to migrants who cross the southern border unlawfully, and temporarily shut down asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters tops 2,500 between official ports of entry.

The White House announced online: “These actions will be in effect when high levels of encounters at the southern border exceed our ability to deliver timely consequences,” saying that the policy change “will make it easier for immigration officers to remove those without a lawful basis to remain and reduce the burden on our border patrol agents.”

Biden’s executive order suspends entry of non-citizens who illegally cross the southern border and makes it easier to remove those who cross when the southern border is “overwhelmed” and to remove respective migrants who “do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.” The executive order limiting the unlawful daily crossings to an average of 2,500 “will be discontinued when the number of migrants who cross the border between ports of entry is low enough for America’s system to safely and effectively manage border operations.”  The president’s order would come under the Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) suspending entry of noncitizens who cross the southern border into the United States unlawfully. Humanitarian exceptions will be made, including for unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking.

Biden’s executive order comes a day after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported rising injuries and fatalities among migrants due to heat and dehydration as summer approaches and temperatures recently topped 100 degrees in the El Paso, Texas, sector. Border Patrol agents responded to several emergencies involving migrants suffering from “severe heat related illnesses,” which claimed four lives over the past weekend.

Editorial credit: ajkman /

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