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Biden executive order restricting asylum processing along U.S. border expected on Tuesday

Biden expected to issue order restricting asylum
Biden expected to issue executive order restricting asylum 01:43

El Paso, Texas — President Biden is expected to issue a long-anticipated executive order as early as Tuesday to partially shut down asylum processing along the U.S.-Mexico border, three people briefed on the planned announcement told CBS News.

The sweeping move is expected to allow U.S. immigration officials to quickly deport migrants who enter the U.S. illegally, without processing their asylum claims, when border crossings surpass a certain threshold, the people said. It would rely on a presidential authority known as 212(f), which gained infamy during the Trump administration when it was used to enact several immigration restrictions, including the so-called "travel ban."

The partial ban on asylum claims is expected to be activated when daily migrant apprehensions between ports of entry surpass 2,500, two sources briefed on the policy told CBS News, meaning it would likely take effect immediately. In May, Border Patrol recorded an average of 3,800 migrant apprehensions each day, according to agency data obtained by CBS News. The sources cautioned that the threshold in the final order could be adjusted at the last minute. 

Asylum processing at border ports of entry would continue under the order. Right now, the Biden administration is processing roughly 1,500 migrants at these official crossings each day, mostly under a system powered by a smartphone app that distributes appointments to those waiting in Mexico. Unaccompanied children are also expected to be exempt from the order.

On Sunday, some Democratic lawmakers were briefed on Mr. Biden's plans. Mayors of border communities have also been invited to attend Tuesday's expected announcement.

Mr. Biden's planned executive action is likely to be challenged in court. Virtually all of his major immigration policies have faced lawsuits by advocates for migrants or Republican-led states.

Over the past three years, migrant apprehensions along the southern border have reached record levels, creating a humanitarian crisis and a political headache for the Biden administration. Over the past year, polls indicate that immigration has surged to be one of the top concerns among American voters.

In recent months, however, illegal border crossings have plunged. In May, Border Patrol recorded roughly 118,000 migrant apprehensions between ports of entry along the southern border, the third consecutive monthly drop, according to agency statistics obtained by CBS News. In March and April, Border Patrol recorded 129,000 and 137,000 apprehensions, respectively, public figures show.

American officials have credited an aggressive crackdown on U.S.-bound migrants by Mexican authorities and increased deportations by the Biden administration for the marked decrease in migrant arrivals.

Mr. Biden's expected move comes after Sunday's presidential election in Mexico, which could play a key role in any major U.S. border policy shift, and several weeks before his first presidential debate with former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee.

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