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Daily Border Links are following a sporadic publication schedule between May 3 and July 19. Regular daily updates will return on July 22.


Later today, President Biden will sign a sweeping proclamation shutting down the right to seek asylum for migrants apprehended on U.S. soil between the U.S.-Mexico border’s ports of entry. Several border-region mayors, mainly from Texas, will be on hand, along with some centrist Democratic legislators. The Departments of Homeland Security and Justice will issue an interim final rule laying out how they will implement the “asylum shutdown.”

According to several media reports, the “asylum shutdown” would be triggered when Border Patrol’s daily migrant encounters exceed 2,500 per day, as they have in every month since February 2021. The right to asylum between ports of entry would not be restored until migrant apprehensions drop below a daily average of 1,500 per day, which has not happened since July 2020.

Of the 296 months since fiscal 2020, the daily average has exceeded 2,500 in 110 of them: 37 percent of the time. During those 110 months, had the executive order been in place, it would have triggered an asylum shutdown. The daily average has dropped below 1,500 just 42 percent of the time (124 months), which would have made restoring asylum difficult had the executive order been in place.

Unless there is a radical change in migration patterns at the border, then, this is an effective ban on asylum between ports of entry. The Trump administration sought to implement a similar “asylum ban” 2019—making it absolute, without the numerical thresholds—but courts threw it out because it violated Section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which guarantees due process for people asking for asylum on U.S. soil.

Other likely elements of the executive order, according to secondary reports:

  • Its legal justification will be Section 212(f) of the INA, which allows the President to prohibit the entry of entire classes of non-citizens considered “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” It is doubtful, however, that 212(f) applies to people who have already arrived on U.S. soil and are requesting protection. “ A reliance on 212(f) that prevents access to asylum arguably directly conflicts with the INA,” reads a new policy brief from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association.
  • It will not apply to unaccompanied minors or victims of “severe” trafficking.
  • It will not apply to people who have made appointments at border ports of entry using the CBP One app. We have heard nothing about any possible changes to the number of appointments that this app will make available; the current cap is 1,450 per day.
  • People will be screened for fear of return only if they specifically manifest such fear to U.S. authorities.
  • Unlike Title 42 expulsions, those who are removed under this new arrangement will be penalized, probably by being barred for several years from reentering the United States.

Elements that are not clear include:

  • What would happen if the number of apprehended migrants exceeds border authorities’ ability to deport them, detain them, or screen them for the executive order’s likely elevated criteria for fear of harm. All of these require resources. During the “Title 42” era, thousands per day were released into the U.S. interior because authorities could not detain or remove them.
  • What the Mexican government’s cooperation with deportations of rejected asylum seekers might look like.

Democratic legislators who defend migrants’ rights are upset, the Washington Post reported. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus told White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients that the measure is “very, very disappointing.”

The Republican-majority House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee met this morning to “mark up” (amend and approve) its draft of the chamber’s 2025 budget bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The draft bill, which reflects Republican priorities, has virtually zero chance of passage before the November election.

It includes mandatory spending on border wall construction. It provides funding for a total of 22,000 Border Patrol agents, nearly 3,000 more than the present workforce. It would eliminate funding for the Case Management alternatives-to-detention pilot program, the Office of Immigration Detention Ombudsman, and the Family Reunification Task Force, and the Shelter Services Program. It would prohibit use of the CBP One app “to facilitate the entry of aliens into the country.” It would increase ICE’s detention bed capacity to 50,000, up from the currently funded level of 41,500.

Amid increasing pre-summer heat, CBP reported four deaths of migrants in its El Paso Sector (Texas-New Mexico) over the weekend.

Arizona’s Republican-majority legislature is close to approving a law similar to Texas’s controversial S.B. 4, which makes it a state crime to cross the border improperly. Rather than go to Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who would veto it, the law would become a ballot measure when Arizonans vote in November. S.B. 4, which would let Texas enforce its own immigration policy and incentivizes racial profiling, remains suspended as litigation continues.

The police chief of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico—a border city just south of Yuma, Arizona—was assassinated in a broad-daylight ambush in the middle of the city yesterday.

A Border Patrol agent in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley was arrested on charges of helping migrants cross into the United States in exchange for bribes.

Analyses and Feature Stories

Following a U.S. Government Accountability Office report about Border Patrol agents’ confiscation of migrants’ belongings and documents while in custody, Cronkite News talked to advocates and service providers in Arizona who are documenting the problem and filing complaints.

The New York Times looked at recent poll data showing reduced support for immigration within U.S. public opinion.

On the Right