The Department of Homeland Security is asking the Pentagon for extra assistance at the southern border ahead of a new massive migrant caravan.
Background: Since his inauguration, President Biden has worked tirelessly to open borders and strip border officials of their authority, resulting in a blatant border crisis with no end in sight.
Under President Biden, migrant crossings reached record-breaking highs
The Washington Post reported this week that preliminary Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data indicates that authorities are on track to have encountered more than 200,000 in March, compared to 173,277 in March last year. (per Fox News)
Migrant crossings typically take a dip in the winter months but officials are concerned that the number of crossings will skyrocket again during the warmer weather.
What Happened: General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command, was asked by Sen. Jim Inhofe at a Senate Armed Services Committee if he was aware “of any discussion within the administration or DHS that could result in any request for additional troops at the border.”
“Sen Inhofe there is a request from [DHS], it is in the planning stages right now of the department to provide additional capability or capacity based on the potential for additional immigration, or folks coming to the southwest border,” VanHerck said. (per Fox News)
Why It Matters: The request is the newest indication of concern from the administration of an imminent migrant surge at the border.
Details: There were 164,973 encounters in February, compared to 101,099 encounters in February last year, a month that preceded a massive surge in numbers in the spring and summer months that overwhelmed Border Patrol and led to migrants quickly being released into the interior. In February 2020, there were just 36,687 encounters. (per Fox News)
Context: The change in the Biden administration’s handling of the border comes as Democrats fear the outcome of this year’s midterm election as their slim majority hangs in the balance.
The Biden administration has announced other changes to the asylum process in an effort to clear up the massive migrant backlog.
Biden’s Changes: Under the new system, migrants crossing the border illegally who ask for asylum would be interviewed about their claim, rather than having a full court hearing as they do now. The entire process is intended to take about six months, rather than the years asylum seekers currently wait, and is designed to relieve the immigration-court backlog, which currently stands at 1.6 million cases, administration officials said. (per The Wall Street Journal)
For migrants who don’t receive asylum, the new system would also result in quicker deportations.
When It Happens: The changes are expected to take effect in May.
What Comes Next: The administration has noted it expected pushback from conservative groups and states.
“This doesn’t streamline the process at all,” said Rob Law, a former top Trump administration immigration-policy official. “All it does is give people more chances to get to an approval or to delay an inevitable removal order.” (per The Wall Street Journal)