Earlier this month, the Biden administration unveiled its most comprehensive plan yet to deter illegal border crossings.
He announced that immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela would face deportation to Mexico under a Donald Trump-era (2017-2021) public health order known as Title 42, if they enter the United States illegally.
He also extended legal migration opportunities to people with US sponsors and vulnerable asylum seekers.
These measures reduced illegal entries along the southern border by 97 percent, according to government data.
But 77 House and Senate Democrats say the changes undermined US asylum law, which allows migrants on US soil to apply for humanitarian protection and secure it if they prove they are fleeing persecution for certain reasons.
“We believe his administration can and should continue to expand legal pathways for migrants and refugees into the United States, without further dismantling the right to seek asylum at our border,” the lawmakers wrote.
“This right is a pillar of the postwar international order to which the United States has committed itself,” they added in a letter quoted on CBS News.
Democratic lawmakers praised the program for allowing US citizens and others with legal status in the country to sponsor the arrival of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.
However, they said the deterrence component of Biden’s strategy was based on the policies of the Trump administration.
Specifically, they denounced the decision to expand Title 42, as immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua were previously not subject to the policy.
They also urged the administration to reverse course on a proposal that would disqualify migrants from asylum if they do not seek refuge in third countries.
“No matter how many Trump policies the Biden administration resurrects, Republicans will continue to obstruct any efforts to reform our border processing and modernize our immigration system,” said Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.
The administration has rejected accusations that it is embracing the border policies proposed by the Trump administration.
The letter was not signed by Democratic leaders in the Senate and House, who broadly support the administration’s border strategy.
On the other hand, the new policy maintains a strong Republican rejection.
Earlier this week, 20 Republican-led states, led by Texas, asked a federal judge to stop the sponsorship policy for immigrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela, arguing that the program violates US immigration law. .