Progressive lawmakers are in uproar as the Biden administration reportedly considers whether to revive the Trump-era policy of detaining migrant families as a means of deterring illegal immigration.
After multiple news organizations reported Tuesday that President Biden is considering several tougher immigration policies in preparation for Title 42 to expire, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus issued a joint statement urging the president to reject family detention.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Biden Administration is considering reinstating family detention in an attempt to deter migration. We agree with Secretary Mayorkas when he said, ‘A detention center is not where a family belongs,’” the progressives said.
“We should not return to the failed policies of the past. There is no safe or humane way to detain families and children, and such detention does not serve as a deterrent to migration. We strongly urge the administration to reject this wrongheaded approach.”
The backlash against Biden comes as the Title 42 Public Health Order used to expel illegal immigrants who present themselves at the southern border with Mexico because of the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire in May. The New York Times and others reported that Biden is meeting with his advisers to consider alternative policies to stem the flow of illegal immigration, which is expected to surge as soon as the order is lifted on May 11.
“No decisions have been made as we prepare for the Title 42 Public Health Order to lift,” a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “The Administration will continue to prioritize safe, orderly, and humane processing of migrants.”
Progressives and immigration activists were already upset with Biden after the DHS and Department of Justice announced a proposed rule last month which makes migrants automatically presumed to be ineligible for asylum if they have crossed into the U.S. illegally and have failed to claim asylum in a country through which they have already traveled.
The left views Biden’s consideration of Trump-era policies to combat illegal immigration as both a step backward and a betrayal of his campaign promises.
“I’ve visited multiple family detention centers and as a trained psychologist, I was deeply shaken by the trauma children faced there,” CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., tweeted. “Reviving this policy would undermine @POTUS’s commitment to a humane immigration policy for asylum seekers, and I am vehemently opposed.”