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Border Crisis: Biden Admin’s Plan to Deal With Immigration Surge Could Have Unintended Consequences

The Biden administration announced a new plan to expedite asylum cases for migrants illegally entering the U.S., but some experts questioned the plan’s efficacy and argued it could pose national security risks.

In a joint statement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new plan to fast-track the asylum cases of some single adult migrants who unlawfully cross into the U.S., the latest effort to quell the incredible backlog of cases within the immigration court system. However, some experts who spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation said the plan fails to solver the larger problem of increased migrant arrivals, and may open the door to national security threats.

“While this initiative could provide much-needed relief to the overwhelmed non-detained immigration docket, my primary concern is that it may represent an effort to expedite and approve claims without thorough adjudication,” John Fabbricatore, a retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office director, said to the DCNF.

The effort is designed to shorten the time it takes for immigration judges to decide the asylum cases of some illegal migrants who entered the country through the U.S.-Mexico border. Those with legitimate claims will be granted asylum more quickly, while those who don’t will be rejected.

“Today, we are instituting with the Department of Justice a process to accelerate asylum proceedings so that individuals who do not qualify for relief can be removed more quickly and those who do qualify can achieve protection sooner,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement introducing the Recent Arrivals Docket program.

The Recent Arrivals Docket program, which will be limited to single adult migrants in select cities, will aim to adjudicate cases within 180 days.

However, the announcement hasn’t come without criticism.

“Speeding up the process without sufficient scrutiny could inadvertently create exploitable loopholes, potentially compromising national security,” Fabbricatore said.

The backlog of immigration court cases has skyrocketed in recent years, a direct result of the ongoing border crisis.

In 2022, the case backlog was around two million, according to Syracuse’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Currently, that number has ballooned to around 3.5 million pending cases, resulting in wait times that can take several years.

Immigration experts have pointed to these enormously long wait times as an incentive for illegal immigration, which allow migrants to claim asylum at the border and then remain in the U.S. for years before their cases are adjudicated.

While the backlog of cases poses its own problems, Fabbricatore cautioned it is still “crucial that we maintain rigorous security standards to ensure safety and integrity of the process.” The retired ICE field office director, who is also running for Congress in Colorado, warned that the Biden administration has “consistently” shown a tendency to move cases forward without adhering to proper vetting and background checks.

Lora Ries, border and immigration director for the Heritage Foundation, faulted the administration for not focusing on border security, the source behind the enormous immigration court backlog.

“While the administration is planning to expedite decisions in five cities, the administration is doing nothing to secure the border to stop the flow of aliens entering the court pipeline,” Ries stated to the DCNF. “That is poor management of resources and our tax dollars.”

Ries encouraged the Biden administration to undertake initiatives that were implemented in the Trump administration and to adopt other measures to prevent asylum-seekers from taking advantage of the court system.

“Instead, the administration should re-institute the Remain in Mexico program and port courts along the southern border to prevent asylum fraud, catch-and-release, and aliens from gaming the court system,” Ries stated.

The Biden administration has not detailed just how many migrants will be placed into the upcoming program, but the announcement did specify that single adult migrants living in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City will be among those eligible.

DHS did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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