Biden Is Mulling Detaining Families at the Border as Migrant Crackdown Continues: Report
President Biden entered the White House promising to take a more humane approach to the U.S.-Mexico border. Humanity has its limits, apparently. The New York Times is reporting that the administration is considering re-instituting a policy of detaining migrant families attempting to cross the border, after previously having shut down the practice.
Illegal border crossings have plummeted in 2023, despite what you hear from Republicans, but officials are worried a surge could be coming after Title 42 — a Trump-era Covid-19 policy that allowed authorities to deny asylum on public health grounds — expires on May 11, according to the Times. The Biden administration recently announced a new policy going into effect May 11 that could prevent tens of thousands of migrants from being able to seek asylum at the border.
The Biden administration currently allows migrant families into the U.S. temporarily, tracking them through various means. The George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations both held families at the border, but Trump tried to expand the practice and remove restrictions on how long minors could be held, developmental concerns be damned. It’s unclear what form the policy would take should the Biden administration choose to reinstate it.
Democrats and advocacy organizations have been quick to respond to the Times‘ report.
“Locking immigrant families and children into cages along the border is dangerous, ineffective, and wrong,” tweeted Texas Rep. Greg Casar. “The Biden Administration did the right thing by ending family detention. We can’t go back.”
“Look, we’ve known the Biden administration is on a callous, cruel, stupid, and frequently extralegal quest for “deterrence” at the border. But even against that backdrop this is nauseating,” wrote Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.
“‘I was a stranger and you did not welcome me’ (Mt. 25),” added Jesuit priest James Martin.
One thing that’s certain is that there’s nothing Biden can do that will lead Republicans to soften their criticisms of his approach to the border. The party has staked itself not only on keeping people of color out of the United States — including, still, by building a wall — but that Democrats are doing everything they can to let them in as part of an insidious scheme to “change the culture” and tilt the nation’s electoral demographics in their favor.
Biden could announce tomorrow that he’s building the wall himself, and Republicans would complain that it’s not high enough. The alternative would be to simply lean into to taking a humane approach, as he promised he would. It doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, either.