Vicky Arias, FISM News
Amid a growing border crisis, the Biden administration is considering reintroducing a policy used by President Donald Trump to detain migrant families who cross the border illegally, according to a New York Times report published Monday.
The White House wouldn’t confirm or deny the report.
The consideration comes as Biden officials brace for another potential migrant surge following the end of Title 42, a public health protection policy that allowed border agents to stop migrants from entering the country due to the COVID pandemic. The policy is set to expire on May 11.
If President Joe Biden reinstitutes migrant family detention, it would be a major departure from his past stance on the topic.
Many of his liberal supporters view the president’s contemplation of returning to the procedure as a betrayal of his campaign promises.
During his run for president, Biden criticized Trump’s use of the policy, which had also been employed by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Leecia Welch, one of the lead attorneys in the Reno v. Flores child immigration Supreme Court case, said it’s “heartbreaking” to think Biden may bring back family detention.
“Ending the inhumane practice of family detention has been one of the only positive immigration policy decisions of the Biden administration,” Welch said in the Times report.
According to Reuters, “President Joe Biden … pledged to reverse the more restrictive immigration policies of Republican former President Donald Trump but has embraced some of his measures as border arrests [have] soared to record levels.”
The nation’s southern border is currently in crisis as migrant surges have plagued the current administration.
Many conservatives point to Biden’s own policies as the catalyst behind the crisis.
On Feb. 7, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability conducted a hearing with border agents to gather information on the ongoing problems encountered at the border.
“Chairman Comer and Committee Republicans outlined how President Biden and his administration’s policies created the worst border crisis in American history,” a press release about the hearing stated. “U.S. Border Patrol Chiefs testified about a crisis that has set records for the arrests of illegal border crossers, migrant deaths, narcotics seized, and suspected terrorists arrested trying to illegally cross the border.”
Chief Patrol Agent for the Tucson Sector, John Modlin, explained at the hearing that “nearly all migrants [they] encounter are completely outfitted in camouflage by … smuggling organizations before they cross. Most run from and may fight our agents to avoid apprehension. Many are previously deported felons who know they are inadmissible to the United States. And many pose a serious threat to our communities.”
Chief Patrol Agent for the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector, Gloria Chavez, said that “due to its proximity to the border of Southern Mexico and Central America, RGV is identified as a major corridor by cartels and transnational criminal organizations, and it is exploited daily for human smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and other illicit activities.”
According to the Associated Press, border “agents detained migrants more than 2.5 million times at the southern border in 2022, including more than 250,000 in December, the highest on record.”