ACLU Urges President Biden to Abandon ‘Callous and Unworkable’ Immigration Proposals

By Cindy Chen

WASHINGTON, DC – The ACLU, among other civil rights and immigrant rights organizations, this week highly criticized President Joe Biden’s support for potentially “callous and unworkable” —according to critics—anti-immigrant policies under consideration in ongoing supplemental funding negotiations.

Biden, in a released statement from the White House, has indicated his willingness to employ new emergency authority to shut down the border, with the President claiming it would be “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”

These policies emerge, said the WH, amid record levels of migrant crossings since Biden assumed office in 2021. 

Recent figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Biden statement, show a record 302,034 encounters with migrants along the southern border in the past month alone, with 249,785 of those encounters recorded between ports of entry.

According to his statement last Friday, Biden’s reforms would entail the recruitment of additional resources, including “1,300 border patrol agents, 375 immigration judges, 1,600 asylum officers, and over 100 cutting-edge inspection machines.”

They would also grant President Biden new “emergency authority,” enabling him to close the border during times of significant strain. “If given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” Biden said in his statement.

Critics of the reforms, such as Deirdre Schifeling from the American Civil Liberties Union, have honed in on the proposed “expulsion authority,” which is currently under negotiation. 

This authority, if approved, would grant the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the power to expel individuals if border crossings reach certain thresholds. 

According to an article by Politico, if border encounters average 4,000 individuals per day over the course of a week, including asylum appointments, DHS would gain this authority, and this authority would become mandatory if daily crossings exceed 5,000 people for a week or surpass 8,500 individuals per day.

In a statement on Sunday, Schifeling, chief political and advocacy officer at the American Civil Liberties Union, charged, “There are real challenges at the border, and now is the moment that we need our leaders to move forward effective policy solutions that will improve port processing, support communities receiving migrants, and create lawful pathways to citizenship for Dreamers and others. But let’s be clear: cruelty is not a policy solution — and barring people from seeking protection is both callous and unworkable.”

Schifeling pointed out the shortcomings of past measures like Title 42, which failed to deter migration and caused harm to vulnerable individuals.

“We’ve already had an expulsion authority before — Title 42 — and we know that it did not stop people from coming to the U.S.” Schifeling added, noting, “Instead, we saw record numbers of families and individuals arriving at our border seeking protection, and Title 42 caused tremendous harm to people fleeing danger.”

Schifeling argued, “Voters want to see our elected leaders do the hard work to fix our frayed immigration system. President Biden and Congress must abandon these proposals and heed voters’ demands for fair and effective immigration policies that manage the border and treat people seeking safety with dignity.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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