IMMIGRATION

How the Recent Bipartisan Assault on Migrants Happened

After promising to get to the root causes of migration to the US, the Biden administration instead accepted far-right policy ideas that would harm many asylum-seekers

Arturo Dominguez
Momentum
Published in
6 min readFeb 14, 2024

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Photo by Elijah Mears on Unsplash

The National Security Supplemental Budget package which included funding for wars in Ukraine and Israel would have rewritten asylum laws and given presidents unprecedented power to close the border to migrants. In addition to funding increases that will benefit the private prison industry, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the bill was focused on ending what is referred to as “catch and release” — a term used by hunters and fisherman.

It also had a strong focus on expanding what Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) called “detain and deport” policies initially proposed by far-right Republicans in Congress.

The package would have given the private prison industry an additional $3 billion, CBP an extra $6.7 billion, and ICE a whopping $7.6 billion to conduct broad and mass deportations in addition to raising the standards by which asylum-seekers can claim asylum. It also granted United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers the authority to determine whether to grant asylum rather than leaving it for immigration judges to decide.

Closing the border to migrants becomes mandatory if 4,000 migrants enter the country daily for a week or 8,500 hundred enter in a single day. Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as fully closing the border, as so many conservatives argue, thanks in part to people like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, former president Donald Trump, and House Speaker Mike Johnson making such absurd suggestions.

There are innumerable amounts of people who work and go to school on either side of the border. And you certainly can’t overlook the US’s economic ties with Mexico — now…

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Arturo Dominguez
Momentum

Journalist covering Congress, Racial Justice, Human Rights, Cuba, Texas | Editor: The Antagonist Magazine |