WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is expected to end the asylum limits at the U.S.-Mexico border by May 23 that were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That's according to people familiar with the plans.
The decision, while not yet final, would halt use of public health powers to absolve the United States of obligations under American law and international treaty to provide haven to people fleeing persecution.
It also raises the possibility that more asylum-seeking migrants will come to the border at a time when flows are already high.
Top Democrats and others say COVID-19 has long been used as an excuse for the U.S. to get out of asylum obligations. Republicans, however, believe more needs to be done to stop the flow of migrants.
In May 2021, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the U.S. should “swiftly lift” the public health-related asylum restrictions and restore access to asylum for the people “whose lives depend on it”.
However, following that request, the U.S. was hit with surges from the delta variant and the omicron variant.