The Biden administration is considering a measure that would force migrant families seeking asylum to stay in Texas, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
The potential measure, which would hold migrant families in Texas until asylum is either granted or denied, comes amid a surging number of migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, with 177,000 border apprehensions recorded last month. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bussed tens of thousands of migrants out of the state in protest of the Biden administration’s “refusal to secure the border,” into Democrat-run cities including Denver, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. (RELATED: Federal Judge Orders Greg Abbott To Remove Border Buoys)
“Texas’ small border towns remain overwhelmed and overrun by the thousands of people illegally crossing into Texas from Mexico because of President Biden’s refusal to secure the border,” Abbott said in June.
There are consequences to entering the US without authorization under Title 8, including removal from the United States. ➡️ https://t.co/fygLnc0br5
📍 Eagle Pass, TX: Migrants, mostly from Venezuela, are being removed after crossing into the U.S. unlawfully. pic.twitter.com/5drOhSrCcd
— CBP (@CBP) September 6, 2023
The Biden administration’s plan would force migrant families to remain in Texas by tracking their location through GPS monitoring via devices like ankle bracelets, according to the LA Times. The migrants would then go through a screening process to determine if they qualify for asylum or are to be deported back across the border.
“DHS continuously holds policy and operational discussions on how to leverage our authorities to ensure a fair, humane, and effective immigration process that efficiently removes those without a lawful basis to stay in the country,” a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said to the LA Times.
It would be easier to deport migrants if the “remain in place” measure is enforced in Texas, due to the state’s proximity to the border, according to the LA Times. The measure would differ from an Obama and Trump administration-era measure that detained migrant families at the border rather than inside Texas, which the Biden administration has refused to restore.
“We have no plan to detain families. As I mentioned, we will be employing alternatives to detention, including some innovations in that regard, and we will on a case-by-case basis use enhanced alternatives to detention as warranted,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in April.
Abbott and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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