May 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden prepares to unveil new asylum change


Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Biden administration officials are readying to publish a new rule to more rapidly reject some migrants from asylum soon after crossing the border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: It is one of several actions being weighed by President Biden to clamp down on illegal border crossings ahead of the election, as Biden and Democrats try to go on offense on one of their most vulnerable issues.

  • The proposed rule, which could be published as soon Thursday, would allow immigration officials to bar migrants from asylum within days — if not hours — of them illegally crossing the border, three sources familiar told Axios. The process can currently take years.
  • It would target people who are considered national security risks, sources said, and could put more migrants in fast-tracked deportation. This comes at a time when Republicans have been tying immigration to crime spikes.

What to watch: Timing on Biden's border actions have been in flux, but the rollout of the proposed rule is expected as soon as this week, sources said.

  • The action does not involve a section of U.S. code called 212f, which one administration official described as the "nuclear option."
  • Biden is still readying to use that power to potentially block more illegal border crossers.

The intrigue: Border plans were discussed in a high-level meeting last week with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and top Biden officials, as NBC News first reported.

  • The meeting was set to strategize for both congressional and executive border plans for the coming weeks as Democrats try to get ahead of the issue before November, one source familiar with the meeting confirmed to Axios.
  • The Biden campaign released a new ad Tuesday going after Trump for his family separation policy.

The bottom line: The border issue continues to plague Democrats — even those hundreds of miles away from the border — as immigration remains a top concern for voters, according to Gallup polling.

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