Biden’s New Immigration Policy: Come Legally And You Will Have Your Day In Court!
Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova
Just recently, the topic of immigration was at the forefront of discussions during the North American Leaders' Summit, where President Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico met to address pressing issues.
President Biden defended his approach to the border and acknowledged Mexico's willingness to accept asylum seekers rejected by the United States during what he referred to as "the greatest migration in human history" in the region. Despite criticism from various groups, President Biden dismissed them as "extremes" and stated that he was trying to find a middle-ground solution. During his address, he thanked President López Obrador for agreeing to take up to 3,000 individuals back, referencing Mexico's recent announcement to accept 30,000 migrants each month from Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba who attempt to cross into the United States illegally. The increased enforcement at the border has been met with condemnation from Democrats and human rights groups as an inhumane denial of asylum rights. But President Biden argued that the creation of new legal immigration programs for people from those countries counterbalanced that effort. He emphasized that in today's interconnected world, it is impossible to wall oneself off from shared problems and that the goal is to make it easier for people to immigrate legally.
Shortly thereafter, DHS launched a new application that allows non-citizens seeking entry to the United States for humanitarian reasons, including those who seek asylum in the US, to bypass non-for profits and religious organizations, and register for the US entry through the App. The App CBPOne went live in the middle of January. Now, anyone who has urgent need to come the United States, and who is not in a possession of a visa or green card, can register using the App if they are located in Northern or Central Mexico. The App allows to schedule an appointment for an inspection at the designated port of entry. The following CBP locations are currently allowing to register: Arizona: Nogales; Texas: Brownsville, Eagle Pass, Hidalgo, Laredo, and El Paso; and California: Calexico and San Ysidro.
Currently, the App is experiencing some issues, as it is overloaded with requests, despite the fact that new appointments are available each day at 6:00 AM for the appointment at 9 a.m. EST up to 14 days in advance. There are some other technical issues, such as App not recognizing photos of migrants with darker skin, and the fact that the App is not available in languages other than English and Spanish. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it plans a Creole version in February; it has not announced other languages.
Some migrants, particularly with darker skin, say the app is rejecting required photos, blocking or delaying applications. CBP says it is aware of some technical issues, especially when new appointments are made available, but that users’ phones may also contribute. It says a live photo is required for each login as a security measure.
If you are lucky enough to get the appointment, you will be asked if you have a physical or mental illness, disability, pregnancy, lack housing, face a threat of harm, or are under 21 years old or over 70. In addition, you will be asked why you decided to come the US. You will be offered to have free vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccine.
Once a person is inspected, and if a CBP agent finds them to meet the criteria for urgent humanitarian exception, a person will be paroled into the United States, and placed in removal proceedings. A person will have parole for one year and will be able to seek employment authorization. At some point, he/she will have to appear for a court hearing in Immigration Court. Most people will be defensing themselves in Immigration court by asking for asylum.
Overall, CBPOne App is a serious competition to human trafficking, and the need of the latter should irradiate with enough people being able to secure appointments for free in safe manner. Coupled with another initiative: Welcome Corps, and explained parole for nationals of Ukraine, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, Biden’s administration is on its way to set a record in the most significant Immigration changes in the past 2 decades.
Of course, the world leader still need to address the root causes of migration, such as poverty, violence, and political instability in Central and South America. Despite the show of commitment to addressing immigration, the issue remains a difficult one to solve.
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