A new Biden administration immigration proposal could lower waiting periods for asylum seekers at the southern border by years, according to government documents obtained by Buzzfeed News. The updated process as outlined in the draft policy seeks to curb immigration court backlogs and expedite new claims.
A sharp "departure" from that of the Trump administration, which reportedly sought to "block" asylum protections, the new plan could "fundamentally change" border dynamics and become President Biden's "most consequential immigration policy to date," writes Buzzfeed.
To circumvent the pileup of more than a million immigration court cases, Biden's proposal shifts adjudication for new asylum claims from immigration judges to asylum officers, Buzzfeed reports. If an asylum seeker's claim is denied by an officer, the individual can appeal the decision in front of an immigration judge. A third appeal "would also be possible," Buzzfeed reports.
The current asylum processing system is "unfair" and "overwhelmed," per the draft policy, which adds that "a system that takes years to get to a result is not a working system." The goal of the new, proposed process is to replace "a broken system with a more efficient one, adjudicating asylum claims expeditiously without [compromising] fairness."
The new policy has yet to be finalized, with implementation, funding and scope still unclear. Read more at Buzzfeed News.