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Trump’s immigration deterrence policy more humane than Biden’s
When politicians make big changes out of good intentions, things often go very wrong. When policymakers try to be humanitarians, they often bring about inhumane results. That’s the story of the US border today and of the migrant crisis hitting New York and other cities.
Our border problem today isn’t about Mexicans sneaking past border patrol in the middle of the night. It’s mostly about families or unaccompanied children arriving at our border without documentation and requesting asylum, usually without any valid claim to asylum. It’s a problem because President Biden’s policies have caused record numbers of undocumented migrants to come to the US overcrowding both the US border and cities like New York.
To prevent such overcrowding, the Trump administration had practiced deterrence. But Biden decided that Trump’s deterrence — a policy called remain in Mexico — was cruel. So he threw open the door and has caused a crisis.
Here’s the policy background. While most immigrants or visitors need a visa in order to enter the US legally, we make an exception for those who are fleeing persecution and thus seeking asylum. Immigration courts decide whether you’re really in danger of persecution, and let you stay if you are. If the factory in your hometown in Costa Rica shut down, that’s not a valid reason to claim asylum. If your government is locking up dissidents, though, an immigration court is more likely to grant you asylum and thus legalize your stay here.
The first problem is the backlog in immigration courts. We can’t grant every asylum seeker hearing the day he arrives, the delay is actually months long, sometimes years. The question is what to do with those claiming asylum in that interim? Biden has tried to be humane. After all, these people might actually be the victims of persecution, and the delay is the fault of the US courts.
So Biden changed US policy to let anyone claiming asylum stay in the US until his or her court hearing. That sounds nice, but think of the incentives this sets up. Anyone who can make it to the US border can claim to be seeking asylum and thus get to stay in the US freely for months or years. And really, it’s an indefinite say, because it’s easy to disappear into our vast country and simply ignore your court date in the distant future. Thus, Biden’s policy amounts to throwing the door open to massive illegal immigration.
The result is record flows of undocumented Central and South Americans entering our country, exacerbating the backlogs and causing overcrowding. Donald Trump’s policy was to deter such gaming of the system. If you were seeking asylum from say, Guatemala and you arrived at the US border, we would take your name, set your court date and tell you to remain in Mexico until that date.
If Guatemala was really persecuting you, you would be safe in Mexico. If you were instead seeking to come into the US for our economic opportunity, you would instead choose to go through proper visa channels, rather than make ungrounded asylum claims. Trump’s deterrence worked, the number of undocumented arrivals dropped and crowding at our border facilities was relieved. Deterrence, it turned out, was humane. Joe Biden on the other hand, by laying down a welcome mat, has instead created a humanitarian crisis.
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Trump’s immigration deterrence policy more humane than Biden’s
During his presidency, Donald Trump launched an immigration policy requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their scheduled immigration court date. President Joe Biden later terminated this policy and introduced his own approach, which has sparked controversy among some who argue that Biden’s changes have resulted in an influx of migrants and dangerous conditions.
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