Political and Legislative

The DOJ Wants to Continue to Allow Border Officials to Turn Away Asylum Seekers

A Justice Department attorney argued Tuesday for American immigration officials’ authority to limit the number of asylum-seekers allowed to cross into the U.S. from Mexico each day, even as President Joe Biden’s administration is attempting to distance itself from the Trump administration’s policy imposing caps on asylum applicants at border ports of entry.

During a hearing before a federal judge in San Diego, immigrant rights advocates squared off with a federal government attorney sent to advance the somewhat dissonant argument renouncing the prior administration’s approach while preserving the current one’s legal right to reinstate it.

Alexander Halaska of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation told U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia Bashant that the present administration is reassessing the policies that officials often refer to as “metering,” but which critics call a “turnback” of asylum-seekers.

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