After the brutal 2018 “zero-tolerance” coverage that separated youngsters from their dad and mom, the Trump administration final yr launched the Migrant Safety Protocols, or “return to Mexico,” forcing some 67,000 asylum seekers to await their immigration hearings on the southern aspect of the border.
The coverage stranded folks in squalid, gang-controlled makeshift camps. Nevertheless it had the meant consequence of considerably lowering flows and compelling 1000’s of migrants already on the border to show round and go residence.
As a result of the “return to Mexico” coverage shouldn’t be codified by regulation, it could possibly be instantly rescinded by the president-elect.
However the optics of huge numbers of migrants all of a sudden being waved into the US, or detained in services on the border, would create a public-relations nightmare for the brand new administration and nearly definitely draw fierce condemnation from each immigration restrictionists and pro-immigrant activists, for various causes.
“The brand new administration goes to must discover a strategy to push again on unrestrained, unauthorized migration with humane enforcement whereas coping with folks searching for asylum in an expeditious means that acknowledges their authentic claims,” mentioned Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Safety in the course of the Bush administration.
“It’s not going to be 10 minutes after inauguration, all people come on in,” mentioned Mr. Chertoff.
Any misstep would threaten a replay of 2014 and 2016, when the Obama administration scrambled to stem a chaotic inflow of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Human-rights teams have been outraged when households and kids have been locked up and deportations have been accelerated. Immigration hard-liners attacked Mr. Obama for permitting tens of 1000’s to enter the US and stay within the nation whereas their asylum circumstances wound via the courts, which might take years.
And whereas Mr. Biden has mentioned that he’ll stop development of a wall, Mr. Trump’s signature mission, there isn’t a signal that his administration will chorus from deploying boots on the bottom and complex expertise to seize border crossers.