Group of Senate Democrats 'deeply disappointed' by proposed asylum rule

February 22, 2023

Conservatives have long complained about President Joe Biden's handling of America's immigration, pointing to how he has failed to stop a deluge of migrants along the southern border.

Yet criticism on border issues isn't just coming from Republicans, as some within Biden's own party are now furious over a new rule that his administration has put forward.   

Rule would exclude those who cross illegally from applying for asylum

According to the Washington Examiner, some Senate Democrats are upset over a proposal to prohibit those who cross the border illegally from applying for asylum.

Under its provisions, individuals and families who come without authorization would first have to prove that they were already denied asylum in Mexico.

The Examiner pointed out that this policy is similar to one which was pursued by former President Donald Trump but ultimately blocked in federal courts.

Made public earlier this week, the rule must first undergo a 30-day public comment period before it can be put into effect. However, a group of Democratic lawmakers have already made their feelings on the matter known.

Senators say they are "deeply disappointed" by proposed rule

The Examiner reported that New Jersey Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez along with New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Lujan and California Sen. Alex Padilla issued a joint statement on Thursday decrying the policy change.

"We are deeply disappointed that the Administration has chosen to move forward with publishing this proposed rule, which only perpetuates the harmful myth that asylum seekers are a threat to this nation," the statement read.

"In reality, they are pursuing a legal pathway in the United States," it continued, stressing that the signatories were "deeply disappointed in the Biden administration’s proposal to limit access to asylum."

"We urge President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to reverse course and pave a better path forward that protects the right to asylum while addressing the real operational challenges at our Southern Border," the senators went on to add.

Illegal crossings last month double those seen in January of 2021

"The ability to seek asylum is a bedrock principle protected by federal law and should never be violated. We should not be restricting legal pathways to enter the United States, we should be expanding them," they declared.

The authors concluded by saying, "Last month, we saw the positive impact new legal pathways can have on irregular migration. We hope the Biden administration will reconsider much of this proposed rule."

Fox News reported earlier this week that the White House is touting a new six-point plan it says will reduce illegal immigration.

Still, the network also pointed out that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) saw over 156,000 migrant encounters in January, up from the 78,414 migrants encountered in January of 2021.

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