Biden Administration Announces New Border Measures and Programs

On Thursday, January 5, the White House announced new immigration enforcement measures for the U.S. southern border. The efforts expand and expedite legal pathways for orderly migration and introduce new consequences for those who fail to use those legal pathways. They also draw on the success of the Venezuela initiative, which launched in October 2022.

New Consequences for Individuals Entering the U.S. Unlawfully

In anticipation of a return to processing under Title 8 when Title 42 is over:

  • Effective immediately, individuals who attempt to enter the United States without permission, do not have a legal basis to remain, and cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 will be increasingly subject to expedited removal to their country of origin and subject to a five-year ban on reentry.
  • DHS and the Department of Justice intend to propose a new regulation that would encourage individuals to seek orderly and lawful pathways to migration and reduce overcrowding along the southwest border and the strain on the immigration system.
Expanded Lawful Pathways
  • The Biden administration will extend the successful Venezuela parole process and expand it to Nicaraguan, Haitian, and Cuban nationals. As a result, up to 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries, who have an eligible sponsor and pass vetting and background checks, can come to the United States for two years and receive work authorization. However, individuals who irregularly cross the Panama, Mexico, or U.S. border after the date of this announcement will be ineligible for the parole process and subject to expulsion to Mexico, which will accept returns of 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries who fail to use these new pathways.
  • The administration intends to welcome up to 20,000 refugees from Latin American and Caribbean countries during Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024, more than tripling refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere this Fiscal Year.
  • When Title 42 eventually lifts, noncitizens located in Central and Northern Mexico seeking to enter the United States lawfully through a U.S. port of entry have access to the CBP One mobile application for scheduling an appointment to present themselves for inspection and to initiate a protection claim instead of coming directly to a port of entry to wait.
Resources to Secure the Border and Support Communities
  • DHS and DOJ are surging asylum officers and immigration judges to review asylum cases at the border more quickly to reduce initial processing times from months to days. Additionally, DHS and DOJ are installing hundreds of phone lines and privacy booths to conduct these interviews and proceedings. DHS is also hiring and deploying additional agents and officers and scaling up its air and ground transportation capabilities to remove migrants when warranted.
  • The Department of State is expanding its paid and earned media outreach to disrupt smuggler and human trafficking misinformation. Outreach will target migrant routes with an estimated reach of over 85 million potential migrants.
  • The Biden administration is increasing funding to border cities and those cities receiving an influx of migrants and expanding outreach efforts with local jurisdictions to coordinate resources and technical assistance support.
  • The Biden administration added nearly $23 million in humanitarian assistance in Mexico and Central America. This assistance will help support shelter, health, legal aid, mental health, and psychosocial support, water, sanitation, hygiene products, gender-based violence response, livelihoods, other protection-related activities, and capacity building for partners.
Erickson Insights

The White House continues to urge Congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform the Biden administration introduced upon entering office. In addition, the White House has announced that President Biden will make his first presidential visit to the U.S.-Mexico border next week.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments, and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.