Thursday, June 6, 2024

Biden’s Border Shutdown Follows Clinton and Obama’s Lead | TOME


President Joe Biden’s recent announcement of a stringent executive order to halt asylum requests at the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn comparisons to former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Critics have noted that Biden’s decision reflects a level of border authoritarianism reminiscent of Trump’s administration. The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to challenge the order in court, highlighting the similarities between Biden’s approach and Trump’s asylum restrictions.

Biden’s new asylum restrictions, outlined in the executive order, mark a continuation of his administration’s border policies, which have been criticized for their harshness. The order stipulates that asylum requests will be paused once the daily average encounters at the border reach a certain threshold, with exemptions for specific cases such as unaccompanied minors and individuals facing severe threats to their safety. Those expelled under the order will face a minimum five-year reentry ban and potential criminal prosecution.

The move has been described as one of the most restrictive border policies in modern history by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. While Biden’s decision has been influenced by Republican pressure on the so-called border crisis, it underscores a long-standing bipartisan commitment to border fascism. Both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to the militarization of the border and the criminalization of migration over the years.

The roots of this bipartisan approach to immigration enforcement can be traced back to previous administrations, including those of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton’s signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 coincided with increased border fencing and expanded detention and deportation capabilities. Obama, often referred to as the “deporter-in-chief,” oversaw a significant increase in deportations during his tenure.

Despite differences in rhetoric, the substance of border policies under Democratic and Republican administrations remains largely unchanged. While Democrats may distance themselves from the overtly xenophobic language of the far right, their actions speak to a similar exclusionary approach to immigration. Biden’s executive order, while framed as a measure to manage border security, has been criticized for jeopardizing the legal right to seek asylum and putting lives at risk.

The maintenance of strict border controls serves to reinforce divisions between labor and benefit capital while perpetuating harmful and deadly consequences for migrants seeking safety and stability. The nationalist message conveyed by policies that swiftly reject and punish desperate migrants is consistent across party lines, regardless of the rhetoric used to justify them.

In conclusion, Biden’s recent border shutdown reflects a continuation of longstanding immigration enforcement practices that have characterized both Democratic and Republican administrations. The executive order underscores the bipartisan commitment to border militarization and the criminalization of migration, highlighting the need for a more humane and rights-based approach to immigration policy.

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