Overwhelmed: Team Biden may release migrants without asylum court date

by WorldTribune Staff, March 21, 2021

Joe Biden’s team is considering a plan that would release migrants claiming asylum into the United States without issuing them a notice to appear in court, reports said.

Migrants at the U.S. border in Texas. / Photo courtesy of Sen. Roger Marshall

The unprecedented move would place the responsibility of seeking an asylum hearing on the migrants through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or legal assistance, Fox News reported, citing a senior source with Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Critics say that few, if any, of the migrants would schedule an asylum hearing on their own.

The source told Fox News that the reason for the decision is that the situation at the southern border has “become so dire that BP [Border Patrol] has no choice but to release people nearly immediately after apprehension because there is no space to hold people even to do necessary NTA (notice to appear) paperwork.”

The process of issuing each migrant an NTA can take hours per individual or family. This would not apply to unaccompanied minors.

The flood of migrants to the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV), based in Texas, has resulted in federal facilities in the sector currently housing migrants at over 700 percent of capacity, reports say.

The Biden team’s move comes as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to open another facility for unaccompanied child migrants in Pecos, Texas, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announced Saturday.

The Temporary Influx Care Facility would house at least 500 unaccompanied minors to start, with the capacity to house 2,000 children.

The number of migrant children now in U.S. custody surged past 15,000 on Saturday, reports say. Many are being held beyond the legal three-day limit.

The children, who enter the U.S. without their parents or another adult, are now spending an average of 136 hours in border patrol custody before being turned over to HHS. The amount of time allowed under U.S. law is 72 hours.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered state Department of Public Safety officers and Texas National Guard troops to the border in an effort to “combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas.”

Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall, who was at the Texas border last weekend, said: “There is nothing humane about what we have going on right now at our southern border. We have such big masses of people and we can’t handle the volume. Without secure borders, we cannot ensure our nation’s safety, period.”

Asked by a reporter earlier this month if he believed there was a crisis at the southern border, Biden said “No,” adding, “We’ll be able to handle it.”

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