President Biden unveiled a new proposal Tuesday that would deter tens of thousands of people from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Under the new policy, which was formally published on Thursday, migrants would be turned away at the southern border if they had not tried to seek asylum in a country they passed through en route to the U.S. The rule is similar to former President Trump’s “transit ban” policy that never went into effect because it was blocked in federal court.
Human rights groups denounced the rule, and pledged to sue the Biden administration over the new policy.
“It will leave the most vulnerable people in much the same position as Trump’s policy did—at risk and unfairly denied the protection of asylum for reasons that have nothing to do with their need for refuge,” Anu Joshi, deputy director of the National Political Advocacy Department at the the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Slate. “We can’t overstate the human suffering that will result.”
The rule is expected to go into effect on May 11 following a 30-day public comment period. It will be temporary and remain in place for two years, with the option to extend it.