Biden Admin Mulls Keeping Migrant Families in Texas

The Biden government is reportedly contemplating an adjustment in its policy where families who have entered the US unlawfully might have to stay close to the Texas border while their asylum requests are being assessed, according to a recent revelation by the Los Angeles Times.

This potential shift in strategy comes in the wake of a significant increase in the number of families arriving through the southern border, particularly in states such as Texas and Arizona during July. Although official figures from the Border Patrol cite over 60,000 instances, a recent report by The Washington Post suggests the count might be nearing a record 91,000 families.

According to the Times, the strategy to restrict the movement of these families within the country aims to facilitate quicker deportation processes for those who do not pass the asylum evaluations. Additionally, officials anticipate that this could act as a preventive measure.

The primary motivation behind considering this initiative is the difficulty associated with locating and deporting families once they have moved into the country’s interior, as stated in the Times’ report.

The federal administration plans to utilize GPS devices to monitor the migrants’ whereabouts and collaborate with local entities to provide temporary accommodation during the adjudication of their cases. It’s also stated that other border states aside from Texas are under consideration for this program.

At present, the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program imposes certain restrictions such as curfews and monitors migrant families that move freely to major urban areas. The Biden administration had initially hoped this would dissuade families from attempting to cross the border, mentions the Times.

The policy appears to particularly target families from Central America, considering the geographical closeness to the US and the feasibility of executing mass deportations.

A spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security communicated to the Times, stating that ongoing deliberations are focused on optimizing policies and operations to cultivate an efficient, humane, and effective immigration process that swiftly handles individuals without legitimate grounds to remain in the country.

If executed, this policy would resemble the strategies from the Reagan era in the late 1980s, where asylum seekers were required to stay at the point of entry during the processing period.

Meanwhile, Texas has been actively exploring various approaches to more effectively control and possibly reduce the surge of migrants across its Mexico border. This includes deploying a floating barrier on a section of the Rio Grande, although this move is facing legal scrutiny.

Furthermore, Texas has been actively transferring migrants to states with a Democratic leaning, like New York, in a bid to redistribute the responsibility. This move, however, has met with criticism from New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who voiced his concerns about the substantial strain the city is facing due to the large influx of migrants, urging President Joe Biden to intervene and regulate the influx at the southern border, echoing the sentiments expressed by officials in other states.

During a discussion on Newsmax, Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, endorsed former President Donald Trump’s policy of requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were under review, citing it as a substantial deterrent against hazardous journeys undertaken by individuals from southern and central Mexico, as well as Central America.

As of now, it remains uncertain whether the recent developments have influenced the Biden administration’s consideration for modifying their current policy.